PUBG Mobile may never launch in India again, suggests a new report

The Indian government back in September implemented a ban on PUBG Mobile under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. Stating the reason the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said that the app is engaged in activities that are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity, defence and security of the country.

Since then PUBG Corporation revoked the Indian distribution rights for the game from Tencent Games. It setup an Indian subsidiary, stating that the game would soon make a comeback in a new avatar dubbed PUBG Mobile India. However, it now appears that the game might never make a comeback.

Recently, MeitY notified all the necessary parties, including PUBG Corporation, about the ban on the game. According to a report by IGN India, the game might never return to the country, not even in a censored form. Citing sources familiar with the situation of PUBG Mobile, the report stated that there are “no plans to unban” the game. “The authorities aren’t stupid, even if publishing duties have changed hands, the development of the game is still based in China,” and that the “entire exercise seems like putting lipstick on a pig.”

However, another source cited in the report expressed optimism stating that the PUBG Corporation currently does not “have the right team in place just yet to talk to the government.” He is still hopeful that discussions between PUBG Corporation and the Indian government may begin by March or April, with us seeing Indian esports teams participating in international tournaments by the second half of the year.

To recall, MeitY in reply to two earlier RTI requests stated that it “does not grant permission for starting of any websites, mobile apps, or service.” It also said that the ban on PUBG Mobile has not been lifted and will not be removed until and unless all concerns raised by the Indian government are addressed.

As of now, PUBG Mobile India stands in stasis and the Indian government’s stance is not clear. Looking at the complex scenario it is difficult to comment on whether the game will make a comeback or not.

The only thing we can do as of now is to wait and hear about the developments from either the Indian government or from PUBG Corporation.

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