PUBG Corporation has decided to no longer authorize the PUBG Mobile franchise to Shenzhen-based Tencent Games in India and take over all its publishing responsibilities within the country, it said in a statement.
This comes as PUBG Mobile, and its Lite version were banned in India along with 116 other ‘Chinese’ apps. PUBG Corporation is a subsidiary of Krafton Game Union, a South Korean video game company.
“As the company explores ways to provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future, it is committed to doing so by sustaining a localized and healthy gameplay environment for its fans,” PUBG Corporation said in a statement.
With this, a South Korean company will essentially become responsible for publishing PUBG in India, instead of Shenzhen-based Tencent Games, which can possibly give it a ground to argue that PUBG Mobile is not a ‘Chinese’ app. The app is still present on both Apple and Google’s app stores.
Shortly after the ban was imposed by the government last Wednesday, Tencent, the publisher of PUBG Mobile said it would engage with Indian authorities to ensure the continued availability of its apps in India.
“PUBG Corporation fully understands and respects the measures taken by the government as the privacy and security of player data is a top priority for the company,” the organization said about PUBG’s ban in India.
“It hopes to work hand-in-hand with the Indian government to find a solution that will allow gamers to once again drop into the battlegrounds while being fully compliant with Indian laws and regulations,” it added.
Apart from rolling out regular content updates, the company said it was exploring different ways to engage players in India through various region-based activities, including esports and community events.
On September 2, India had banned 118 ‘Chinese’ apps, including popular gaming app PUBG, for allegedly being engaged in activities which are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
The IT Ministry said the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and Home Ministry have sent an “exhaustive recommendation” for blocking these “malicious apps”. The blocking order was issued under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The development came days after India and China troops were involved in a face-off at the border.
The government is yet to provide clarity on whether the latest move by the company would bring any relief to the existing gamers, streamers, and organizations relying on PUBG Mobile in the country.