Nearly two months after being banned by the Indian government due to cybersecurity concerns, the online multiplayer battle royale game PUBG Mobile may be making a comeback in India soon. The South Korean company is expected to make an announcement of its future plan soon.
In recent weeks, it has engaged with global cloud service providers to store Indian users’ data within the country to cater to the data localisation and security concerns raised by the Indian government. In addition, PUBG Mobile has also informed some of the high-profile streamers in the country that they can expect to resume the services in India before the end of the year.
The company has also been in talks with local companies like Paytm and Airtel to check whether they’d be interested in publishing the application in India to further gain the trust of the government.
According to a TechCrunch report, the company is expected to run a marketing campaign starting from the occasion of the Indian festival Diwali.
The development comes a week after PUBG officially terminated all services and access for Indian users from October 30 onwards to comply with the interim order of the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) dated September 2, 2020.
On September 2, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had issued an order banning 118 mobile apps, including PUBG Mobile, with links to China. Of these 118 apps, 35 were gaming apps.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole. PUBG Corporation counted Chinese multinational tech conglomerate Tencent as a publishing partner for the game’s mobile version. Tencent also holds a 10% stake in PUBG’s parent company.
While the game’s intellectual property is owned and developed by a South Korean company, the mobile version was published by a Chinese company. This led to PUBG being stuck in the crossfire of India’s sweeping crackdown on Chinese apps since June 29, when it first banned 59 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, UC Browser and Club Factory, among several others.
In the immediate aftermath of the ban on PUBG, South Korea-based company withdrew its association with Tencent Games. “In light of recent developments, PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorise the PUBG MOBILE franchise to Tencent Games in India. Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country,” read PUBG Corporation’s statement.