Last week, India banned PlayerUnknown’s BattleGround (PUBG) along with 118 other Chinese apps, citing security concerns. Now, in order to reverse this ban, PUBG Corp., the company that owns the intellectual property of the game, has distanced itself from Tencent, which was distributing the mobile version of the game in the country.
The company said it’s working with the government to bring the game back to India, once it’s compliant with local laws.
In a statement, PUBG Corp. said that it is taking away the PUBG MOBILE franchise from Tencent in the country:
In light of recent developments, PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorize thePUBG MOBILEfranchise 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.
The government banned PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite over privacy and security concerns — similar to what TikTok, Helo, and 57 other apps faced in July.
Senior Analyst at Niko Partners., Daniel Ahmad, noted that Tencent moved its servers related to PUBG Mobile were in India for local players to appease the government. However, the app was banned because of the company’s Chinese affiliation.
It is worth noting that Tencent did move to ensure that data and servers were stored in India a few months ago. The move was to assure regulators in India that there are no privacy concerns.
However the app was still banned because of the Chinese dev/pub affiliation.
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) September 8, 2020
Until a few days ago, PUBG Mobile was the most popular game in India with more than 50 million monthly active users before the ban.
Days after the authorities barred the app, an Indian startup named nCore Games announced a patriotic multiplayer game called FAU-G, which is set to be released next month.
We’ve asked Tencent for a statement, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.