The game was called Football Manager 2005, and was released on November 5, 2004 by Sports Interactive and Sega. The game’s focus is management of a soccer team. Seems harmless enough, right?
Shortly after its release, it was found that regions like Tibet and Taiwan were included as separate countries. Tibet has had a long history as a territory of the People’s Republic of China, and because the game treated Tibet as a sovereign nation, China wasn’t happy.
Officially, it was banned because the game “threatened its content harmful to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity... [that] seriously violates Chinese law and has been strongly protested by our nation’s gamers.”
Sports Interactive responded by saying that a fixed Chinese version of the game would be released, and clarified that the offending version wasn’t intended to be released in China in the first place. That version wasn’t available in Chinese, but had been imported, downloaded, or sold in illegal software shops.