PUBG Mobile India not granted permission for launch, confirms government
The central government has confirmed that it has not granted any permission to PUBG Mobile India for a launch. The launch of the India-specific version of the online battle royale game was announced last month after PUBG Mobile was blocked by the government in September amid the India-China border row. It was banned over its ties with the Chinese company Tencent Games.
Responses submitted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to two different Right to Information (RTI) applications revealed that the government has not granted permission to PUBG Mobile India's launch. "MeitY does not grant permission for starting of any websites/mobile Apps/service. Accordingly, MeitY has not granted permission to PUBG/PUBG mobile India," the Ministry said in response to the RTI filed by MediaNama.
A separate RTI application, dated November 30, had sought information on whether any permission had been granted for the launch of PUBG Mobile India. On December 11, the Ministry said in its response, "MeitY has not given any permission for launch of PUBG."
After the game was banned, PUBG Corporation—which has now merged with its parent company Krafton under the name PUBG Studio—had taken over the PUBG Mobile franchise and its publishing responsibilities in India from Tencent. The South Korean game developer, which also owns the rights to the game's PC variant, had also promised investments worth $100 million to cultivate a local version of the game.
In September, the Centre banned PUBG Mobile over its ties with the Chinese company Tencent Games. Along with it, PUBG Mobile Lite was also banned. At the time of the ban, the game had around 50 million Indian users and was the country's top-downloaded title. The ban was imposed months into the India-China border row in eastern Ladakh, which broke out in early-May.