One of the first battle royales, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, has been on phones for nearly two years. The game has been doing well on that platform, especially in India, with a 24% mobile player base. Yesterday, India banned PUBG Mobile.
According to India’s government, the banning of the app has nothing to do with the size or number of downloads. Instead, it seems that India and China’s war tensions are still rocking both countries’ trust in one another.
Why Did India Ban PUBG Mobile?
On September 1, PUBG Mobile was banned along with 118 other apps by India’s government. These apps were accused of sending user data in an “unauthorized manner” to servers outside of India. This is part of an ongoing tech and military conflict between India and China.
These 118 banned apps join more than 100 others banned during June and July, including TikTok and UC Browser. Along with bans to apps, India is also restricting Chinese stocks in Indian companies.
This is likely a result of border conflicts between India and China. Both governments’ armies are clashing over territory and outposts near the Indian border. These military actions have done little to make friends between the two countries. India has kept a close eye on Chinese tech in the last few months, and now they have even further reasons to continue to check on mobile apps.
This is a major blow to PUBG. During the coronavirus quarantine, millions of players locally downloaded the app. With the app banned, Tencent and the PUBG corporation are not excited about the game’s future in India — for obvious reasons.
However, PUBG is still available on PC and consoles. The only PUBG property banned was the mobile app because Tencent, a Chinese company, made it. Players in India who wish to continue playing PUBG can still do so on PC, Xbox, PS4, and Google Stadia.
Hopefully, the India-China conflict does not cause too much death, violence, or loss of privacy in the future.
In the meantime, be sure to check out some of our other guides.
Jason Toro-McCue has committed his schooling to the study of the connection between game design and narrative. When he's not working on this bond through writing articles or guides, he's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just playing games themselves and looking at the story there.