PUBG Mobile will be relaunched in India as Battlegrounds Mobile
PUBG players who aren't desperate and/or technically savvy to bypass the India ban with VPN will finally be able to get back to their old habit. The battle royale game will be relaunching as Battlegrounds Mobile India and will be playable only within India. Although there is no specific launch date, the game is expected to deliver the same online multiplayer experience on cellphones.
Battlegrounds Mobile will be playable only in India
The game returns with a new title and geo-locking in response to the Indian government's crackdown on Chinese businesses and apps. The original PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile was published by the Chinese firm Tencent. In September, the South Korea-based original IP owner PUBG Corporation had announced that it would float an Indian subsidiary to launch an India specific version of the game.
PUBG Corporation will invest $100 million in Indian subsidiary
The game's announcement from the developer Krafton comes a month after a short teaser was uploaded on the YouTube channel before being quickly pulled down. PUBG Corporation had earlier announced that it will invest $100 million in India while also hiring 100 employees for the Indian subsidiary. Battlegrounds Mobile will also have India-exclusive e-sports events with a promise of "largest prize pools".
Geo-locking mandates India-specific development and e-sports ecosystem
Without mentioning the actual launch date, PUBG Corporation has confirmed that Battlegrounds Mobile will retain the same free-to-play mobile experience of its predecessor. The geo-locking will, however, make it impossible to host international e-sports events, with the game being able to support only India-specific tournaments and leagues. Meanwhile, the company promises India-exclusive outfits and in-game events as a consolation.
Massive investment in subsidiary gives the Indian version a chance
It's difficult to predict if the India-specific game will be better or worse than the original. It depends on the engineering and development effort PUBG Corporation expends on the Indian version of its popular battle royale game. However, the company's $100 million investment into the Indian subsidiary makes it the largest by any Korean firm with the exception of the manufacturing sector.
Battlegrounds Mobile will feature India specific in-game events at launch
The game's yet undecided launch will precede a pre-registration period, which will give Krafton an idea of where it stands compared to the whopping 175 million downloads accrued by the original version of the game. The company also added that it is working on building e-sports ecosystem and producing regular in-game content, while also promising India specific in-game events right at launch.