PUBG Mobile has issued a statement saying that it recognises the need for responsible gaming and will work with all stakeholders to “provide features and enhancements which make for a friendly and healthy gaming ecosystem.” The statement comes after PUBG Mobile has faced criticism in India, especially from parents, college authorities and even some government officials over fears that children in India are addicted to the game.
In an official statement, PUBG Mobile said “We appreciate the support and trust given to us by our PUBG MOBILE players. While we strive to deliver the best possible gaming experience to our fans, we also believe that it is extremely important for us to be a responsible member of the gaming ecosystem. To this end, we constantly work and shall continue to work with different stakeholders, including parents, educators and government bodies, and listening to their feedback on what we can do to enhance the overall PUBG Mobile experience.”
The statement further adds that the company is working on “developing numerous new features and enhancements which enables us to provide an environment for players to enjoy PUBG MOBILE in a rewarding and responsible manner.” It is unclear what features would allow the game to be played in a ‘responsible manner’.
The statement ends with the company saying that it will continue to obtain feedback from its community in India, and globally, in order to make PUBG Mobile “the best game” ever.
The game has been facing criticism that more and more children are addicted to it. While PUBG has a total of 200 million users worldwide, there’s no clarity on the number of Indian users.
The issue of addiction to PUBG Mobile has been highlighted recently in India. In January, Indian Express had reported that Gujarat State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama requested the central government to allow Gujarat government to impose a ban on online and mobile games like PUBG.
“To avoid the negative impact of internet gaming, to which children and youth are addicted, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama has requested the central government to allow Gujarat government to impose a ban on such negative games like PUBG,” an official statement from the minister’s office said.
The Gujarat government’s state primary education department had issued a circular saying that district authorities should take steps to ban the PUBG Mobile game.
Jagruti Pandya, chairperson of the Gujarat child rights body, said that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had recommended a ban on PUBG Mobile across the country. Exactly how a ban like this will be executed remains unclear.
In December it was reported that authorities in the men’s hostel of Vellore Institue of Technology (VIT) in Tamil Nadu issued a circular banning students from playing the game in their rooms. A photo of the circular issued by the authorities was shared on Instagram and Reddit.
The circular read, “It has come to our notice that few students are playing online games like ‘PUBG’ which is NOT PERMITTED.” The circular further said the game was “spoiling the entire atmosphere of the hostel” and students were warned from playing this.
PUBG Mobile also made headlines when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, ‘Ye PUBG wala hai kya,’ in response to a concerned parent’s question during his Pariksha Par Charcha 2.0 session, where he interacted with students and their parents.
The Prime Minister’s reply was in response to a query from a New Delhi parent who complained that her child was now distracted by online games and that his performance had deteriorated