Following an order by the Indian government to ban 118 Chinese apps in the country, the popular battle royale game PUBG Mobile was pulled down from prominent app stores. While the Indian gaming community hasn’t taken this well, PUBG Corp finally stepped in with an official statement, giving hope to its fans. The original internal gaming brand under Bluehole Studios, came out with an official statement yesterday suggesting that it will take all publishing responsibilities and will no longer have an association with Tencent specifically in India.
Ever since then we have been speculating on the fact whether PUBG Corp will open a dedicated headquarters in India, or hunt for a new publisher. According to a report, however, the latter might be the case. PUBG Corp is said to be looking for an Indian gaming firm so it can restore the popular game in the country. Sources related to the matter suggest that only a licensing agreement will be formed and PUBG Corp will retain the publishing rights for the game. The Indian partner will most likely handle the distribution. Having said that, there is no official confirmation from PUBG Corp or PUBG Mobile India as of yet.
Moving to a new India-based distributor might not be the only way to unban the game in India though. Right after the ban was imposed, the government had apparently sent over 70 queries to PUBG, asking for a response within three weeks. “Ownership is only one of the concerns. But there are several other issues, based on which the ban has been ordered. The concerns are related to data privacy security, activity inside the phone, etc.," said a senior government official.
Just yesterday PUBG Corp released a statement regarding the ban of PUBG Mobile in India:
“PUBG Corporation fully understands and respects the measures taken by the government as the privacy and security of player data is a top priority for the company. It hopes to work hand-in-hand with the Indian government to find a solution that will allow gamers to once again drop into the battlegrounds while being fully compliant with Indian laws and regulations.
In light of recent developments, PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorize the PUBG Mobile franchise to Tencent Games in India. Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country. As the company explores ways to provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future, it is committed to doing so by sustaining a localized and healthy gameplay environment for its fans.
PUBG Mobile is the mobile version of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), an intellectual property owned and developed by PUBG Corporation, a South Korean gaming company. The company is actively engaged in developing and publishing PUBG on multiple platforms, including PUBG Mobile in select territories, to provide the best player experiences possible.”