Era of Conquest advertised Korean general Admiral Yi Sun-sin as Chinese, sparking controversy

Is this China’s old habit of claiming other cultures histories?

Era of Conquest is a 4x real-time strategy game by Chinese game publisher, 4399 Games. Era of Conquest Early Bird was recently launched globally and during one of its advertisement campaigns, it wrongfully advertised an in-game character named Admiral Yi Sun-sin as Chinese, who was a Korean war general, which angered its Korean fanbase.

Era of Conquest showing Admiral Yi Sun-sin as Chinese: The controversy

Era of Conquest is a mobile strategy simulation game where players could originally choose from six civilizations in the Chinese Version. During the beta test phase of its global counterpart named Early Bird, which started on July 14, 2022, the developers added two new civilizations into the game. This brings the total number of civilizations to eight, as Germany and Korea were added to the list.

The problem started when gamers from Korea noticed that an SNA advertisement image of the game proudly shows Admiral Yi Sun-sin belonging to the Chinese civilization when originally he belongs to the Korean civilization.

Era of Conquest advertised general Chinese
Image via 4399 Games

When controversies arose and people started criticizing this, 4399 Korea, the main service provider of the game in Korea, immediately deleted the image on question across all social media handles. However, the damage was done as the image was already circulated among several gamers in the community.

4399 Korea corrected and gave apologised for the mistake

The company explained that the mistake happened because the fault was not detected during the inspection. But netizens are still suspicious that this was not a mistake as there have been several cases where Chinese games have wrapped themselves around controversies related to posting reckless advertising images in the past too.

Image via 4399

It’s similar to the Hanfu controversy, which has been going on for several years. Its about China’s claim to cultural ownership over other cultures and has been steadily generating noise. This case was quickly corrected and never became a thing but domestic gamers have experienced the same mistakes several times now. 4399 Korea has deleted the advertisement for now and Admiral Yi Sun-sin is now appearing as a hero in the Korean civilization of the game.

What are your thoughts about the fact that Era of Conquest advertised Korean general Admiral Yi Sun-sin as Chinese? Let us know in the comments below!

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