Roblox had high hopes for the Chinese version of its app. However, recently it became known about its removal from local stores. At the same time, such a decision is unlikely to be connected with the current “freeze” on the issuance of gaming licenses. The company itself only notes that it is currently working on a new version of its platform for China.The Chinese version of Roblox called LuoBuLesi disappeared from mobile stores on December 8.

This was reported by Reuters last Friday.

Users who have already downloaded the application are now greeted with a message thanking them for using the “test version”. At the same time, the players began to leave complaints on Chinese social networks, because they did not suspect that they participated in the testing. They were sure that they were using a full-fledged product.

A representative of Roblox said in a comment to Reuters that the company is currently working on a new version of the application. The removal is only part of a “series of important transitional actions” required to update the product.

“We have always known that creating an attractive platform for users in China is an iterative process. We are grateful for the support from LuoBuLeSi users and our global developer community. Now it is critically important for us to make the necessary investments, including in the data architecture, in order to realize our long—term vision of product development,” the company said in an official statement.

Roblox launched in China last July with the support of Tencent. LuoBuLesi worked independently from the global version of the platform. According to Sensor Tower, since July the app has been downloaded 1.7 million times (not counting downloads from third-party Android stores).

It is not known when exactly the new version will appear in Chinese stores. For Roblox, the launch of LuoBuLesi was an important step in the development of the Celestial market. The company talked about this back in March last year before going public.

According to Reuters, at the end of 2020, Roblox even managed to get the necessary approval for the publication of its product from Chinese regulators. Therefore, the recent actions of the local authorities could hardly affect the position of the company.

Recall that China has not issued licenses to new video games since July last year. The current “freeze” has become the longest since 2018 (then licenses were not issued for nine months).

Such restrictions have dealt a big blow to the Chinese gaming industry. Over the past six months, about 14 thousand small studios have closed in the country, the South China Morning Post reports, citing the local state newspaper Securities Daily.

At the same time, large companies like ByteDance and Tanwan Games are trying to cope with losses by reducing employees of development departments. And Tencent and NetEase are trying to offset losses by investing more resources in foreign markets.

At the end of November, the media reported on China’s readiness to resume issuing gaming licenses. However, the ban, apparently, will continue to apply this year.