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PUBG Mobile developers have announced that they will launch a new game called PUBG Mobile India to cater to Indian players. PUBG Mobile was banned back in September by the Indian government and around the same time, PUBG Corporation had announced that it will no longer authorise the PUBG Mobile franchise to Shenzhen-based Tencent Games in India. While the team had announced that it would terminate access for users in India starting October 30, the game is still playable for several people who had it installed on their Android and iOS devices.
PUBG Corporation has announced it is preparing to launch a new game called PUBG Mobile India that has been “created specifically for the Indian market.” The new game will maximize data security for its players and adhere to the local regulations, the announcement said. PUBG Corporation states there will be regular audits and verifications on the storage systems that store the personal information of Indian users in order to make sure that the data is kept safe.
The developers have also shared that they will improve in-game content and also customise it to ”reflect local needs.” These changes include a virtual simulation training ground setting, clothing on new characters, and green hit effects instead of red. It will also add a feature to restrict game time for younger players.
Additionally, PUBG Corporation plans on establishing a local office where it will hire over 100 employees to enhance communications and services with players. “In addition to establishing a local office, the company will look to actively collaborate and leverage local businesses to strengthen its gaming service,” the developers added.
Lastly, PUBG Corporation and parent company Krafton are planning to make $100 million (approximately Rs. 746 crores) investments in India to “cultivate the local video game, e-sports, entertainment, and IT industries.” As of now, the team has not shared a release date for PUBG Mobile India.
PUBG Mobile was banned in India along with PUBG Mobile Lite, and 116 other apps in early September by the Indian government and the games were subsequently removed from the Play store and the App Store in the country. However, PUBG Mobile still remained playable for people who already had it installed. Then, on October 29, PUBG Mobile team shared a post on Facebook stating that starting October 30, “Tencent Games will terminate all service and access for users in India to PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite (together, “PUBG Mobile”) on October 30, 2020. The rights to publish PUBG MOBILE in India will be returned to the owner of the PUBG intellectual property.”
But, the game is still playable for several users. However, some players on both Android and iOS devices have reported server connection issues preventing them from getting into the game.
Indian fans of the game were largely disappointed with the news of the ban, be it casual gamers who spent an hour a day playing the game or streamers who made careers out of it. As we found with our conversations with Indian streamers, there were cases where they reported loss in revenue and views. In some cases, their fans demanded that they get back to PUBG Mobile instead of playing other games. But there were also cases where viewership for some streamers increased due to other games like Call of Duty: Mobile.
Should the government explain why Chinese apps were banned? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)