The worst nightmare for Indian gamers has become a reality.
A couple of months ago, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds aka PUBG loyalists googled anxiously to know if their favourite game had come under scanner for “engaging in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
The massively popular multiplayer game, a staple in Indian households, eventually found a mention in a fresh order issued on Wednesday that stated 118 apps had been banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology. One ban that especially created a lot of noise on social media and became the top-trending Twitter topic in the world was the slashing of PUBG Mobile app in the country.
The instant reaction of Indian audiences to the ban was expressed through memes imagining the parents’ reaction to the news. But once the dust settled, the OG gamers marched to google to know if PUBG was actually Chinese.
Others headed to the official Twitter account of PUBG Mobile and politely asked the owners of the game to simply end their partnership with Chinese company Tencent.
— PUBG MOBILE (@PUBGMOBILE) September 3, 2020
Replying to the PUBG Mobile’s new map update tweet, one person wrote: “Indian government banned pubg mobile for security reasons with your connection to Tencent. Please break collaboration with Tencent."
The responses under the PUBG’s original tweet painted a similar story.
Now nothing's left pubg has been banned in India….. Please break your tie up with tencent— devils.online (@DeViL3853920) September 3, 2020
Please break colab with tencent and bring pubg back to India 😭😭— Avish (@avish4554_) September 3, 2020
Change your partnership from Tencent to other non-chinese company please we need a unban of this game!— Hámzà Âzmï (@hamzaazmi16) September 3, 2020
I have been a Royal Pass holder since the beginning and waiting for almost an year to get my hands on Erangel 2.0 now India has banned this all of my dreams has shattered. All I could do now is look up for your team to settle the things ASAP— Prasanna Dasari (@iamprasannaD) September 3, 2020
😢😢please do something about the ban of PubgM in India I request the pubg authority if anything is there that u can do to not let this happen.— 69_jamesop (@Jameslimck1) September 3, 2020
The burning question from all the gamers in India right now:
Will we see PUBG mobile again in INDIA?— yaswanth AB (@AbYaswanth) September 3, 2020
What is Tencent?
The PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG was developed by a man named Brendan Greene, who hails from Ireland. Greene created the desktop version of PUBG which was developed by a South Korean gaming company named Bluehole.
In 2017, China reportedly was on the verge of banning the game, claiming it was too violent and bloody and went against the cultural values of the country. In fact, the government offered PUBG lovers a state-approved alternative of the game, Force for Peace.
Tencent Games, which was part of Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings, offered to develop a mobile version of the game, PUBG Mobile, after changing the format a bit. Soon after the India-China face-off, Indians also googled to see how much of PUBG Tencent actually owns, in an attempt to understand exactly how Chinese the game is. For those wondering, Tencent has a 10% stakehold in Bluehole.
So is PUBG Chinese?
The answer is both yes and no. While it was initially developed by a South Korean company, the Chinese firm Tencent Games co-developed a mobile version of the game. Both Bluehole and Tencent share profits from the sale of the game as per a prerequisite licensing agreement.