PUBG or PlayerUnknown’s Battleground might soon be following suit of Chinese apps like TikTok, UC browser which got banned by the government of India earlier this month because of data security breaching reasons. The government also banned another fifty apps which were clones of their previously banned counterparts.
PUBG Mobile a Chinese app?
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is an online multiplayer royal fighting game produced and released by the South Korean video game developer Bluehole, PUBG Corporation. This game was only released in China after Tencent Games from Shenzhen acquired a stake of 1.5 percent in Bluehole Studio but as PUBG Mobile. It is reported that PUBG Mobile is one of the 250 apps that have links to China for privacy concerns under the Indian government. Mobile PUBG is not a Chinese app, but the fact is, if not for China, or more precisely, a Chinese company called Tencent Games, it wouldn’t have existed (at least in its current condition).
Why is PUBG getting banned in India?
The information comes whilst the geopolitical anxiety among India and China is at an all-time high. After the recent violent clashes between the Indian Army and the PLA in the Galwan Valley, India started taking up security measures against everything China-related.
India banned 59 Chinese apps on June 29, alleging that they were “engaged in activities that [are] harmful to India’s sovereignty and dignity, protection of India, national security, and public order.” They will also scrutinize 200 more apps and take action accordingly which allegedly includes PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Some state governments across the country, after receiving many complaints from parents and guardians, placed a temporary ban on the gaming app because of its addictive nature, which had a psychological effect on players, particularly young people.
PUBG then assured that it would take feedback from parents, educators, and government organizations to create a secure environment that would enhance the gaming performance. The ban was lifted thereafter.
PUBG in India
By 2020, the game had sold more than sixty million copies, with PUBG Mobile downloaded more than hundreds of millions of times. The app boasts more than a 100 million downloads in India alone.
To date, the game has generated a hundred and eighty million downloads in India, generating over thirty million in lifetime revenue. It became India’s highest-grossing cellular recreation withinside the first half of 2020. Prachir Singh, a Counterpoint Research Senior Research Analyst, advised Gadgets 360 that the success of PUBG Mobile in India could be judged from the fact that many businesses have used the game to promote their smartphones. Oppo and Vivo — they are of Chinese descent themselves — are among the key vendors that hosted PUBG Mobile matches in the past.
The reaction of the Chinese Government to the banning
Reacting at a Chinese Foreign Ministry briefing to India’s ban on Chinese devices, spokesman Zhao Lijian said China is highly worried about the related notice released by the Indian side which he claimed were being tracked and checked by them. He also emphasized that in their business collaboration with foreign countries, the Chinese authorities continually required Chinese agencies to abide by the aid of using global standards, nearby laws, and regulations.
Impact of the app getting banned
- If the game is banned, it would be a big blow not only to Tencent, who will lose their biggest market but also to India, whose ecosystem of sports is built on the back of the popularity of PUBG MOBILE.
- The Indian sportive revel in is essentially related to PUBG MOBILE, starting from influencers, streamers, and content material creators to expert teams, players, and tournaments.
- In addition, seven Indian teams are currently playing at the PUBG MOBILE World League, Season Zero.
- A prohibition on the title may also have a possible impact on waterfalls. Tencent-owned products like Call of Duty: Mobile; Supercell games like Clash Royale, Clash of Clans, and Brawl Stars; are also likely to face scrutiny.
- In reality, Tencent also owns Riot Games, which has recently demonstrated a commitment to the region with plans to launch servers for VALORANT and is actively promoting games such as Runeterra Legends and Team fight Tactics.
- As a mobile-first world, India is also a major whale for a game like Riot’s Wild Rift, which is expected to be published in India by the end of 2020 at a date to be decided.
Having stated that, each Apple App Store and Google Play provide masses of options to PUBG Mobile. Fortnite, Call of Duty, etc are among those games that could be played to get a similar experience in the absence of PUBG Mobile. Experts have said all of these would most benefit if the country prohibited the game. Sensor Tower’s Chapple said Garena Free Fire from Garena Games, in particular, is already a successful shooter game in India, with an approximate lifetime revenue of $15.3 million (about Rs 114 crores) and 13.02 crore downloads accumulated.