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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

PUBG Mobile India will have to wait for government nod to relaunch

PUBG Mobile’s India launch: PUBG Mobile is gearing to come back to India. However, a new report states that the government of India will not allow it. Here's everything we know.

Written by Karanveer Singh Arora | New Delhi | Updated: November 16, 2020 3:59:22 pm
PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile India, PUBG Mobile India ban, PUBG Mobile India comeback, PUBG Mobile India launch date, PUBG Mobile India government statementIn its launch announcement release, PUBG Corporation said that it will provide Indian players with "a secure and healthy gameplay environment." (Image: PUBG Corporation)

PUBG Corporation has announced that it will soon be launching PUBG Mobile India, marking the game’s return to India in a new avatar. There are reports that this could happen as early as Diwali. But the comeback may not be as easy as people might think.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, banned PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite and 115 other Chinese apps in September in India. The reason provided stated that the app is engaged in activities that are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity, defence and security of the country.

According to a new report by Times of India, the government remains unfazed on its decision and “Unless they (PUBG Corporation) address the concerns, it will be difficult to grant any relaxation [to PUBG Mobile].”

The government is unlikely to change the decision before it gets to see the new version of then app and analyse its policies. As of now officials have not see the new app, indianexpress.com has learnt.

Read more: PUBG Mobile India’s possible comeback: Reactions from the gaming community

In its launch announcement release, PUBG Corporation said it will provide Indian players with “a secure and healthy gameplay environment,” in which it will ensure that the privacy and security of Indian player data is its top priority. The company will also be conducting “regular audits and verifications on the storage systems holding Indian users’ personally identifiable information to reinforce security and ensure that their data is safely managed.”

Krafton Inc also announced plans to invest $100 million in India. Krafton is the holding company, of which PUBG Corporation is a subsidiary. South Korea’s Bluehole is the company that founded Krafton and the PUBG Corporation is an internal studio of Bluehole. In addition to the investment, PUBG Corporation will also set up an India base where it would employ over 100 people to enhance communications and services.

ALSO READ | PUBG Mobile India’s possible comeback: Reactions from the gaming community

While the app version banned by the Indian government was distributed by Tencent Games, PUBG Mobile India will be a separate game with similar elements to PUBG Mobile but distributed by PUBG Corporation itself. PUBG PC and PUBG console, both of which are distributed by PUBG Corporation are still available in India. However, both are paid versions.

If the government still claims has apprehensions, PUBG Corporation will have to make more tweaks to the new version as well before it can expect to be relaunched.

PUBG Corporation did not respond to a request for comment.

Gamers optimistic

Salman Ahmad A.K.A. 8bit MAMBA, a YouTube game streamer told indianexpress.com, “PUBG Corporation and the Indian government will first come to terms and rectify any issues before the launch. This is because if the game gets banned for the second time, it will be the final blow, and it will become extremely difficult for it to make another comeback.”

Hemant an ex-team member in team SouL with the gamer tag SouL Frost told indianexpress.com that he feels as if a “deal between the government and PUBG Corporation has already been made.” He added: “There’s a high probability of the game returning without any issues with the government.”

“We believe that the game will 100% comeback. It is between Bluehole and the government of India to resolve this. The steps that Bluehole has announced to address the concerns are proactive. As the largest non-manufacturing investment into India by a Korean Company, it represents a positive mindset. The final decision remains between the Govt and Bluehole,” Akshat Rathee, MD & Co-Founder at NODWIN Gaming, told indianexpress.com.

“Looking at the current announcements made by Krafton (PUBG Corp), it’s encouraging to see that they have (are) ensuring to comply with the directives given by our government including data security. Their move to have the game customized to the Indian needs like the default characters will be fully clothed, hit effects have been changed to green instead of Red, and most importantly the feature to limit the playtime (healthy gameplay habits for the younger audience) will help PUBGM to regain its position; having said this, all this is subject to our government’s go ahead for the game,” said Lokesh Suji, Esports Federation of India (ESFI) Director.

PUBG Corporation has announced that the game will soon be making a comeback to the Indian market as PUBG Mobile India. It has not revealed an exact date of return as of now, neither has it revealed its plans of bringing back PUBG Mobile Lite to the country. The new version of the game will reflect local needs, like a virtual simulation training ground setting, clothing on new characters, and green hit effects instead of red.

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