PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, popularly known as PUBG, is among 118 Chinese mobile bans that have been banned by the Indian government for security reasons. (More Sports News)
PUBG Mobile is one of the fastest-growing Esports games in India with millions playing or streaming their skills online. It is owned by the Chinese company Tencent that has huge stakes in the online gaming business in India.
In June, India had banned 59 Chinese Mobile Apps Including TikTok And Shareit, which 'prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order'.
"The Government of India has banned PUBG Mobile and some other Chinese apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity, security of India and public order under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Whilst the ban is certainly likely to be legally challenged in court, a clear message has been sent out that apps originating or connected to China, which impact India's data security and users privacy will not be allowed to continue in India," said Jay Sayta, a lawyer who specialises in gaming and has observed this space for a decade.
PUBG Mobile has played a crucial part in orchestrating the unprecedented growth of esports in the Indian market. The brand has conducted five major tournaments with record-breaking participation by the Indian gaming community.
In 2019 alone, PUBG Mobile has offered INR 4.5 crores as part of the prize pools, a never-before-seen investment of this magnitude in the Indian gaming ecosystem. Tournaments such as PUBG Mobile India Series 2019, PUBG Mobile India Tour 2019 and PUBG Mobile Club Open 2019 are definitive to the meteoric rise of the Indian gaming space, powered by PUBG Mobile.
The growth of PUBG Mobile from a mobile game to the flagbearer of the Indian gaming ecosystem, stems from efforts to provide the best quality gaming experience to users. It brought both the high-production competitive tournaments and live-action entertainment for the then-nascent gaming community.
Sayta says the government's move will give an impetus to Indian game developers to popularise and propagate other action games that are totally indigenous, which is in sync with the Narendra Modi government's vision of 'vocal for local' and an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat.'
Prime Minister Modi had in fact urged Indian entrepreneurs to develop local games in his recent mann ki baat address, which had given a hint that such a move might be in the offing, observed Sayta.