PUBG Mobile India was heavily pegged to be set for a relaunch in the country towards the end of 2020. The game, which can be majorly credited with turning gaming in India into an industry with far wider adoption and commercial appeal, had posted a set of teasers back in November 2020, leading gamers to expect with anticipation for an official relaunch announcement, soon. After the PUBG Mobile ban back in September 2020, PUBG Corp was also noted to have established an India subsidiary in preparation for a wider set of operations in the country. All of these plans, however, seem to have really come to nothing.
What happened to PUBG Mobile India?
After being banned due to its ties with its erstwhile publisher, Tencent Gaming – an internet major in China, PUBG Corp decided to sever ties with the former and look for an India-centric publisher for the game. At around this time, PUBG Corp, the developers behind PUBG Mobile, underwent a reshuffle, and the gaming house came under Korean company Krafton. The latter is now engaged in a whole host of gaming operations, including launching a new game based on PUBG, looking at operations of PUBG in other gaming platforms, developing related content around the game, and so on. After the ban, PUBG Mobile India was pitched as one such nation-specific initiative.
However, after launching an initial set of teasers, PUBG Mobile India has been entirely quiet about the future of the game. Reports claimed that the central government of India has so far denied meetings and appointments with PUBG India officials, and basis an RTI, it was revealed that the Electronics and IT ministry (MeitY) had not given any official clearance to PUBG India to operate the game under its previous or new avatar. The same appears to be true even till now.
This was further compounded on, when the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights claimed that games such as PUBG Mobile should remain banned because they otherwise promote violence, which adversely affect the mentality of children.
PUBG Mobile India, hence, continues to remain in shadows, now well behind its initial target of staging a return in Diwali 2020. With the ban now extending to five months and beyond, the chances of a hyped return to the gaming arena for PUBG Mobile in India appears to be slim, if at all.