After the ban implemented by the government on 118 Chinese apps including PUBG Mobile there seemed to be no comment made by the authorities about the ban’s removal, till now that is.
According to a report from Inside Sport, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) is in no hurry to revoke the ban on PUBG or any other banned Chinese app. The situation has not changed much specifically for PUBG or any other app on the banned list.
According to ministry officials, “There is no discussion within the ministry officially to revoke theban on any of the apps listed in the ban list. We will stay away from making any comment on any specific company or app”.
NO REPRESENTATION FROM PUBG CORPORATION
Despite PUBG Corp previously stating that they will reach out to the government to find a solution, there has been no representation to date by PUBG Corp or any other related company official to the ministry for unbanning the game in India.
The ministry official further explained that the mere announcement from PUBG Corporation to sever ties with Tencent Games in India is not enough for the ban to be revoked. Let alone PUBG, It seems there have been no discussions initiated in regard to revoking the ban on any of the Chinese companies.
According to a report by Mint, PUBG is working on a new licensing agreement with an Indian gaming firm to pass on the rights to run the PUBG Mobile game in India. PUBG Corporation will now retain the publishing rights for the game, with the Indian partner handling the distribution. However, with no official confirmation, this information should be taken with a grain of salt.
“Ownership is only one of the concerns. But there are several other issues, based on which the ban has been ordered. The concerns are related to data privacy security, activity inside the phone, etc.,” a senior government official told Mint.
The game also became a beacon for the anti-Chinese movement in India, resulting in bad PR and damage to the PUBG brand. The sentiment over this situation is divided right now between fans of the game and worried parents.
Having an Indian partner will not only help PUBG enter the Indian gaming market once more but might also help repair its brand image in India. But there are only a few companies who are capable of handling a game as big as PUBG in India.
There are also reports that suggest Reliance Jio is in discussion with PUBG Corporation and can take over the PUBG License to operate in India. It would make sense if this turned out to be true as the RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani himself has showcased his interest in the gaming market with Reliance also investing heavily in the industry.
Despite various rumors, it seems very unlikely that Paytm will go forth with this partnership considering they already have a partnership with Free Fire, a competitor for PUBG.
Navara is another company based in Mumbai which is quite capable of publishing the game for India and according to sources, they also seem to be interested in exploring a licensing relationship with PUBG.
It was just recently that the Indian government banned PUBG Mobile along with 117 other Chinese apps. After that fans of the game were left wondering about the future of the mobile game in India. However, we finally have some good news as PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorize the PUBG Mobile to be published by Tencent Games in India.
This information was released through a blog post by the company in which they stated that, “Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country.” They further added, “As the company explores ways to provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future, it is committed to doing so by sustaining a localized and healthy gameplay environment for its fans.”
“PUBG MOBILE is the mobile version of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS(PUBG), an intellectual property owned and developed by PUBG Corporation, a South Korean gaming company. The company is actively engaged in developing and publishing PUBG on multiple platforms, including PUBG MOBILE in select territories, to provide the best player experiences possible.”
They ended the statement by saying that, “PUBG Corporation is committed to providing its unique battle royale experience to a global audience and hopes to continue engaging with its passionate player base in India. In addition to regular content updates, the company is exploring different ways to engage its community in India through various region-based activities, including esports and community events.”
The PC version of the game is published by the developer themselves and it was only for the sake of publishing the Mobile version that PUBG Corporation relied on Tencent Games. It is likely that we will see the game come back to us as the developer hopes to work hand-in-hand with the Indian government to find a solution that will allow gamers to once again drop into the battlegrounds while being fully compliant with Indian laws and regulations.
By now most of you must have heard about this unfortunate development, that PUBG Mobile has been banned in India. After a month of rumors surrounding its ban due to privacy concerns the Indian government has finally announced a ban on 118 Chinese apps including PUBG Mobile.
According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, “PUBG Mobile has been banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, on grounds that they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
PUBG Mobile is developed by PUBG corporation(formerly Bluehole) which is based in South Korea but unlike its PC counterpart it is published by Tencent Games.
Tencent is a Chinese tech conglomerate which has a 10% stake in PUBG Corporation and is also suspected of sharing user data with the Chinese government. The reason for this ban is seemingly due to the risk of Indian user data being used by the Chinese government through companies such as Tencent.
It is ironic that the game itself was about to be banned in China back in 2017 due to its violent and graphic nature. However, an alternative version was released under the name “Fight for peace” which was state approved.
Compared to users in other countries whose data is still being stored in Chinese servers, Indian users still had the extra layer of protection in terms of third parties accessing user info. All of this was done to protect the game from getting banned in India but that was all for nothing.
The game has had a huge impact in India in a sense that it became a cultural phenomenon. PUBG had more than 175 million game installation in India with around 25% of all of the game’s global player-base coming from here. It not only popularized gaming in India but also provided benefit to many industries, especially entertainment and mobile industry.
POSSIBILITY OF AN UN-BAN
Previously, Pakistan too placed a similar ban on PUBG Mobile which was later lifted on July 26. After a public outcry on the internet, the country’s government officials had a meeting with game representatives in which they decided to reverse that order. According to Pakistan government officials, the reason for the ban was due to long term psychological effects.
A similar situation is possible in the case of India but the quickest solution would be for Tencent to cut ties with the game completely. However, that too seems unlikely considering how the game is a cash cow for the company.
By now you might have heard about the ban on PUBG Mobile by the Indian Government. This is part of a larger Digital strike on 118 Chinese apps that are being banned in India.
Players are now looking towards alternative games such as COD Mobile, Free Fire, and Fortnite to fill up that void left by PUBG. The clear outlier here is definitely COD Mobile. However, it seems that too is developed by Tencent.
ACTIVISION CUT TIES WITH TENCENT
Call of Duty is one of the most successful video game series in the world with each game being published by Activision, an american video game company. Activision hired TiMi Studios, a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate, Tencent Holdings to lead the development of its mobile title. The game was later published by Activision and Tencent with only a small portion of the revenue going to the latter.
However, just a month ago Activision has cut ties with Tencent due to Trump’s orders that restricts companies operating in the US to conduct any transactions with Chinese companies.
The situation surrounding the game and its possible ban is still uncertain as the game series “Call of Duty” still belongs to Activision but it is developed by TiMi Studios, a Chinese company which is part of Tencent itself. However, the situation seems more hopeful now that Tencent is out of the picture.
PUBG Lite is finally available for Indian players today. The invites for the Beta of the game will start rolling out soon which will allow you to get a chance to play the game before the official launch.
PUBG Lite is a lower-end version of the famous PlayerUnknown’s Battleground for PC. Unlike PUBG Mobile, this game is a specced down version of the PC game and will act as a gateway to help people transition from PUBG Mobile to PUBG PC.
PUBG PC has quite a high system requirement but PUBG Lite fixes that issue with a much lower system requirement which means that it will run on even low-end potato PCs. The minimum specs are as follows:
Minimum Hardware Requirements
CPU: Intel Core i3 2.4GHz processor
Memory: 4GB of RAM
HDD: 4GB of storage
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000
OS: Windows 7, 8 and 10 64 Bit
PUBG Lite is also free which means if you want to check out the game you won’t have to spend money. You can get the same PUBG PC experience for free with worse graphics.
If you’ve wanted to try PUBG, this is a great way to do so or if you want to move away from PUBG Mobile, this should help up the difficulty as it has a higher skill ceiling.