South Korean game developer, PUBG Corporation is looking for an Indian collaborator to relaunch PUBG Mobile in India
India had on 2nd September 2020 banned the PBUG Mobile battle royale game along with 118 other Apps because they were owned by Chinese origin companies. Indian government at that point in time said that these 116 Apps posed a serious data security risk. “Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order,” the ministry said in a statement.
PUBG Mobile was co-owned by PUBG Corporation of South Korea and Tencent of China. Soon after the Indian government’s ban order, PUBG Corporation had decided to buy back the PUBG Mobile license for India from Tencent of China to beat the Indian government’s order. The South Korean game publisher is now reportedly on the lookout for an Indian collaborator to relaunch PUBG Mobile in India.
There is more good news. The game servers for PUBG Mobile will also be based in India. Financial website, LiveMint reported that PUBG Corporation has reached out to the Indian government for unbanning the PUBG Mobile game. The report states that PUBG Corporation is buying back the Indian license of the game from Tencent Games which could help it evade the Indian government’s ban. But it would still need an Indian partner to handle the distribution of the game.
According to the report, the Indian government sent 70 queries to PUBG Mobile and asked the company to respond in three weeks. However, the company has not yet responded and it is not known what would happen if PUBG Mobile doesn’t respond to the queries.
If PUBG Corporation succeeds in signing on an Indian partner, it will have addressed the Indian government’s main concern of Chinese ownership. By basing the game servers in Indian, it could also address other concerns like data privacy and security.
The most likely partner for PUBG Corporation is Mukesh Ambani’s telecom behemoth, Reliance Jio but there is no confirmation that Jio is ready to sign the dotted line.
In the meantime, PUBG Mobile players from India faced network issues for two days after the Government ban but now the servers are up and running. However, the game is now not available for download on Google Play. Players who not uninstalled the PUBG Mobile from their smartphone after the Indian governments ban can still play the game.