When Kingdom Hearts 3 finally launches next year, we’ll get to play around in a massive assortment of beloved Disney worlds, from Monsters Inc to Pirates of the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, one character not everyone is going to get to see when the RPG arrives is none other than Winnie The Pooh. The loveable bear is actually censored in the Chinese version of the game. Oh bother.
Reports out of China seem to suggest that the Chinese version of the game won’t cut the silly old bear out of the game altogether, but will instead be edited to slightly blur Pooh’s appearance.
Instead of Winnie The Pooh in all his glory, those playing the Chinese version will apparently see him covered by an unattractive white blot, at least according to an image of the upcoming game shared by a Chinese website.
Now, you might be wondering what on Earth Pooh could have done to warrant such a treatment in China, and the truth is really rather strange indeed.
The Chinese government has ordered this censorship of Winnie the Pooh due to fears that his presence in the game could cause instability within the country. I’m really not joking.
This is a really odd tale that actually goes back to August, when the Chinese government banned any and all depictions of Winnie the Pooh in their country after Chinese president Xi Jinping was compared to the popular Disney bear by some on social media.
One user mockingly compared a 2013 photo of Xi Jinping and Barack Obama walking together to Winnie and Tigger, and the comparison swiftly turned into a meme, as all things do in this day and age.
As it turns out, Xi Jinping was less than thrilled at being compared to a yellow cartoon bear. The Chinese government sees the meme as “a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself”, according to Global Risk Insights.
It’s unclear whether covering the Kingdom Hearts 3 version of Winnie the Pooh will successfully divert attention away from the issue, or simply shine a brighter light on the affair.
If the internet works the way I think it does though, I’d put my money on the latter outcome.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.