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Gears 5 was pulled from sale in China, so fans are review-bombing it

It's still unclear why the game was banned in China, but fans definitely aren't happy

Gears 5 is being review-bombed on Steam by Chinese users who are unable to play the game. The latest offering in the series released worldwide last week, but was pulled from sale in China, making it unplayable for fans in the region, many of whom are now registering their dissatisfaction.

At time of writing, Gears 5 comes with a ‘Mixed’ rating on Steam, with only 55% of its user reviews submitted as ‘Positive’. When scrolling through those reviews in English, a much greater share appear to be positive, but take away Steam’s language filter, and the feed is littered with negative Chinese reviews.

Google’s translation of those reviews isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t take long to get the gist of the complaints. One user says that despite trying a bunch of different methods, they weren’t able to enter the game, while another player, who says they pre-ordered the game but were unable to play. Multiple reviews state that they’ll be asking for refunds, while one accuses Microsoft of not taking Chinese players seriously.

The complaints have also made their way to the game’s Steam forums. Alongside more complaints about an inability to access the game, one player suggests that Microsoft “did not prepare enough” for Gears 5’s Chinese launch.

Last week, The Coalition community manager TC Octus posted a message on the forums stating that “a specific issue” was preventing Chinese players from “accessing the full game.” It’s still not clear what that issue is, although some fans have speculated it’s linked to Gears 5’s notable LGBTQ representation.

It’s not completely clear whether Microsoft or Chinese authorities are behind the decision to pull the game from sale, but some players have highlighted the fact that, if it’s the latter, the negative reviews are unlikely to achieve much. It remains to be seen what, if any, action will be taken.