Popular game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is popularly known as PUBG, won’t work in India from today. In September, PUBG Mobile and 117 other applications were banned by the Information and Technology Ministry as border tensions between India and China continued in eastern Ladakh. The Ministry cited security concerns for this ban.
The multiplayer battle royale game was launched in March 2017. After its beta launch, the game rapidly grew towards a large player base in less than one month. By the second week of April, the game sold over one million copies. After its official release in December, PUBG Corporation reported that there were more than 30 million players worldwide between the Windows and Xbox versions.
As of 2019, PUBG Mobile had reached 555 million players worldwide. According to a report by Sensor Tower, the mobile game’s largest markets were India with 116 million (21%) downloads in early 2020.
The corporation announced its termination on Facebook. It put out a post that wrote, “Dear Fans, To comply with the interim order of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology dated September 2, 2020, Tencent Games will terminate all service and access for users in India to PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite (together, “PUBG Mobile”) on October 30, 2020. The rights to publish PUBG MOBILE in India will be returned to the owner of the PUBG intellectual property.”
Notably, while PUBG mobile might be gone, PUBG is still available for users. Only the mobile version is banned because of its connection with China — the Chinese company Tencent Games bought a 1.5 percent stake from the South Korean company.
While India had the most number of game downloads, it was not the biggest market when it came to revenue generation.