PUBG, one of India’s most famous online games, was one of the 118 mostly-Chinese mobile applications that were banned by the Government of India in another crackdown following a fresh round of border confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh. In a statement, the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology said the apps were banned as “they are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
Launched in 2018, PUBG Mobile has a massive fan following all over the globe including a huge audience in India. While the game’s origins go back to Korea, the mobile version of the game is completely controlled by Chinese multinational technology conglomerate Tencent. Over the course of just over two years, the game has had a major impact on the gaming industry and is one of the biggest titles in the esports industry.
During the coronavirus lockdown, PUBG rose to even greater heights with the mobile version pushing the live game streaming industry in India with a large number of content creators earning good money.
However, Esports Federation of India said there was no panic in the market and that the esports industry was not solely dependent on just one game. The federation’s director Lokesh Suji named other games that he felt could benefit in these games and he also said that the game developers in India have this opportunity to innovate in the market.
“There is no need to panic, the Indian gaming industry has enough wherewithal and can’t be termed dependent on one game. This is a great opportunity for Indian Video Game developers to build innovative online multiplayer games. Games like HitWicket, WCC or mythology-based games like Raji which are all homegrown products and now have the great opportunity to encash their presence.
“While the stress is to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ I believe this is a great opportunity for the government and the Ministry of Sports to also recognise Esports as a medal-prospect sporting opportunity. The gaming community which is fragmented currently can also benefit if government recognition is given to the sport," Suji said.