PUBG ban not likely to be revoked anytime soon: Report
The ban on PUBG came as a big blow for PUBG Corporation, the creator of the title, and Tencent Games, the Chinese company behind its mobile version. Now, fans have been hoping that PUBG Corp's recent decision to dissociate from Tencent in India might reverse the ban, but a new report suggests that is not likely to be the case anytime soon. Here's why.
Earlier this month, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banned as many as 118 Chinese applications. The list included PUBG Mobile and its Lite version - two battle royale games with a ginormous player-base in India. The government said that the apps engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state, and public order.
In light of the ban in India, which attributed to nearly 24% of PUBG's all-time global downloads, Tencent suffered a major setback and lost nearly $34 billion in market value over two days. This was the second-biggest dip for the Chinese conglomerate since the Trump administration banned transactions with its WeChat messaging app - also over security concerns.
Nearly a week after the ban, PUBG Corp issued a statement withdrawing Tencent's India publishing rights for the title. "PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities," the company said, adding that it will "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."
Since PUBG Corporation's announcement on September 8, many fans of the title hoped that the move to dissociate with China's Tencent might help with the revocation of the ban. However, a senior government official cited by Reuters says that the change in publishing structure does not allay all concerns associated with PUBG and that the country is unlikely to reverse the ban immediately.
The official, who requested not to be identified, said, "The violent nature of the game has been the cause of many complaints from all quarters. That does not change with the change in ownership rights." In response, a PUBG Corp spokesperson said that they were closely reviewing the concerns expressed by the Indian government and are ready to fix anything that needs improvement.
In addition to working to allay the concerns, PUBG Corp has also been holding talks to partner with Jio Platforms, the digital arm of Reliance Industries, to gain the element of trust and bring the game back into the Indian market. PUBG's spokesperson said, "We had initial talks with Jio Platforms to seek for cooperation opportunities, but nothing has been decided yet."