Bluehole Games has apologized for a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds unlockable in-game item and artificial intelligence bot name. A pilot mask featuring the white and red stripes of the Japanese Imperial Flag attractive negative attention from the South Korean public. Between 1910 and 1945, Japan's brutal colonization of Korea created a potent distrust that still lingers to this day.
In an even more shocking reference, the mobile version of PUBG included a bot named Unit 731. Containing some of the most notorious war crimes of the 20th centaury, Unit 731 carried out human experiments on unwilling men, women, children, and infants, resulting in the deaths of 10,000 people. The decade long campaign of torture included forced infections, pregnancies, exposure to frostbite, surgery without anesthetic, and lethal injections of animal blood. Many of the victims were Korean and Chinese.
In a written statement, Bluehole apologized for the offensive material, promising a full investigation and future preventative efforts. As well as refunds to those who purchased the pilot mask.
"We apologize for causing concerns over a pilot mask item. We will conduct an overall re-examination of our image production process to prevent such a recurrence. We will enhance procedures to scrutinize game items before their releases and hold the person in charge responsible"
Both publisher Bluehole and developer PUBG Corporation are both located in Seoul, South Korea.