China game development studio honors Korean War heroes in new FPS
Published: Jul 01, 2021 08:16 PM
WuWeiZhengTu, pgoto: courtesy of Hu Shengkai

WuWeiZhengTu, pgoto: courtesy of Hu Shengkai

Done with the foreign video games that attempt to downplay China’s image from time to time, a group of Chinese university graduates, who believe war games play a role in how people perceive history, have decided to develop a video game dedicated to Korean War heroes.

Sharing the same name as the studio, WuWeiZhengTu (lit: fearless journey), is a military first-person shooter (FPS) with co-opt multiplayer based on the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53). Players will take on the roles of members of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army as they fight battles based on actual history. The game is still under development and has not been made available to the public yet. 

With a game development team of only 10 full-time employees, the company is working out of an innovative project base at Heilongjiang University of Science and Technology, where the team first started the project as students. The company has received nearly 400,000 yuan ($61,900) on Chinese crowdfunding platform Aifadian from more than 2,000 people who are supporting the launch of this domestic-made game.

When speaking about how he got the idea for the war-based FPS, company CEO Hu Shengkai told the Global Times on Tuesday that “as a group of video game lovers, we had been playing foreign games since we were children and saw how games, such as the Battlefield series and Call of Duty, tell their own battle stories in their own country.”

“That’s when the idea came to us that we wanted to make an FPS game that tells our stories, to have the players learn our own history through a game.”

Meanwhile, one fact that cannot be ignored is how certain foreign games have been casting a shadow on China by shaping negative images of Chinese characters. As early as 2011, an article from Guancha News revealed how the FPS game Battlefield 4, one of a series of video games developed by Swedish company EA & DICE in 2013, depicted a negative image of China through a fictional Chinese general who seized power by launching a coup in the country. The game also used a lot of abusive language.

Other games including Command & Conquer: Generals developed by Westwood Studios in 2003, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 by Treyarch Studios in 2012, have somehow shaped China into a warlike image, said the article.

“People can be influenced by those plots that twist China’s image. We have to take action and tell our real history,” said Hu.

The development team was established in 2013, yet it was until 2017 that the team came up with the idea to set a game during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. Now the team has 22 undergraduates to help with daily development.

In order to depict history as realistically as possible, the team has researched various war historical materials including books, news and documents for clues, and tried to restore weapons by visiting museums.

“ Respecting history is our ground rule during game development,” said Hu.