Ever since its ban on Sept 2, when the Indian Government banned 117 Chinese apps citing privacy concerns, there has been little hope for the reversal of the ban to the disappointment of millions of users. Having topped the charts of iOS and android every single quarter since its inception, the game now languishes in 10th having lost a whopping 26 percent of its downloads since the ban.
Also Read | Why was PUBG Mobile banned in India
The indefinite ban, along with the huge market that India has proved to be, has prompted PUBG Mobile Corp to start talks with Telecom giant Airtel, to distribute it through their network to bypass the ban.
The source from Entrackr was quoted saying, “PUBG is in an early conversation with Airtel for handing over distribution rights to the telecom giant. This desperation shows that PUBG has been trying hard to get back into the Indian market.”
The idea has been to make a team in India to not just make a watertight case for bringing back the game, but also improve their share in a very promising market.
The source added: “The gaming platform is also busy in raising a lean team in India. It has been interviewing candidates with experience of under 4 to 6 years.”
Another reason for having an Indian team could be to cope up with the huge demand PUBGM had at its peak. With over 5 crore users in India, it enjoys a huge fan following, mainly due to easy access to a smartphone and the internet that has revolutionized this industry in India. It has also developed a huge esports scene, with professional tournaments boasting of lakhs of concurrent viewers, with sponsors like Oppo and Vivo leading the charge to contribute to unprecedented prize pools never seen in Esports.
PUBG had previously also been in talks with Jio for its distribution services, but that deal had failed to materialize. The source added that PUBG Corp is desperate to complete the deal as soon as possible since it does not seem that the ban is going to be lifted any time soon.
PUBG Mobile was mainly banned for its concerns over user privacy and data management by the overseas servers. Tencent also upgraded its user privacy for the Indian player base but still could not evade the banhammer. This plausible partnership between Airtel and PUBG Corp. solves this big issue of user privacy.