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PUBG Mobile return doubtful, to be permanently banned in India

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The multiplayer battle royale game, PUBG Mobile that sensationalized the whole nation was expected to come back, but alas, that’s not the case anymore. PUBG Mobile ban is here to stay, according to a report by IGN India. 

Earlier this week, several sources confirmed that 59 applications including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser that were banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India in June 2020 were unlikely to be retracted and those applications will remain permanently banned in India. PUBG Mobile is also on the verge of facing a similar fate.

Also Read |India permanently bans 59 Chinese Apps; Will PUBG Mobile be Next?

The 59 apps were permanently banned after the government was not satisfied with software companies’ response to several questions raised by the former concerning data privacy. 

Following a deadly clash along the India-China border in June 2020, the Indian government has banned about 200 Chinese applications calling them “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

“The authorities aren’t stupid, even if publishing duties have changed hands, the development of the game is still based in China,” a source asserted. “The entire exercise seems like putting lipstick on a pig.” 

The first source is quite pessimistic about PUBG Mobile being unbanned soon, however, other sources hope that the ban would be lifted by March-April 2021.

Sources that envision a beam of light at the end of the tunnel said, “They don’t have the right team in place just yet to talk to the government.” “Hopefully discussions begin by March-April so Indian esports teams can participate by the second half of the year in international tournaments,” he further added.

Succeeding the ban, PUBG Corp. teased a comeback just around Diwali in November. The community initially speculated that the game would be unbanned on November 13. 

The goalpost was further shifted and prominent influencers expected the authorises to lift the ban by November 20, 2020. Around the same time, PUBG pledged to invest $100 million into the Indian gaming industry.

In the meanwhile, the user data was being transferred from PUBG Mobile servers to PUBG Mobile India servers hosted by Microsoft. The developer was also working on its Indian website. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India had approved the registration of PUBG India Pvt. Ltd. as a privately held company on November 24.

The publishing rights of PUBG Mobile were transferred from China’s Tencent Gaming back to the South Korean holding firm – Krafton Inc. in a bid to improve their odds of being unbanned.

Until recently, PUBG Mobile India has been on a recruitment spree. Krafton is swiftly adding former Tencent India employees while they have also set up a regional office that will facilitate over 100 employees.

While PUBG Mobile’s future remains ambiguous, Fearless and United – Guards (FAU-G) was recently launched on India’s Republic Day (i.e. January 26). The indigenous game clocked a million downloads on the first day itself. Developed by nCore Games, the story of FAU-G revolves around a deadly skirmish between the Indian and the Chinese soldiers along the Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020. 

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