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PUBG Mobile to quit India from October 30 - leaves players in the lurch

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India's ban of several Chinese apps following the border skirmish in June has now claimed its first victim. PUBG Mobile has announced that from tomorrow (October 30), they would be signing out from the country completely and even those who have it downloaded wouldn't be able to play the game. 

Contrary to recent reports that PUBG was trying hard to engineer a comeback  to one its largest markets, the company said in a Facebook post that its decision to move away from India was part of steps taken to comply with the interim order of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) dated September 2. 

PUBG Mobile was banned by the government of India back in the month of September following a round of investigation by the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology. The ban was issued on the grounds that the game was fetching data from the Indian users and sending it over to its Chinese servers. 

A statement from the federal ministry had said the apps were banned because they “are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order.” While the game was made unavailable in India to download following the issue of the ban, it was still playable for those that already had the game downloaded.

PUBG Mobile: A dead game in India?

The ban on PUBG Mobile came at a time when the game was at the height of its popularity in the country. In spite of the ban, those who had the game installed on their smartphones could continue to play it. However, now the company has said that players wouldn't be able to do so from tomorrow. 

Tencent Games, which owns the game, said in its post on Facebook that it would terminate all services and access or 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," it said. 

PUBG Mobile India Facebook post

(Image credit: Facebook)

The statement reiterates that Tencent Games always prioritized protecting user data and complied with applicable data protection laws and regulations. The game will not be playable even for those that have it downloaded. 

The statement also clarifies that Tencent is returning all rights to the owner of PUBG which means the Bluehole or Krafton Game Union and PUBG Corporation. Hence there is still hope that the game may be back in India, considering that there are rumors of PUBG Corp speaking to Indian companies.

Bodhisatwa Ray

Hardcore gamer, gadget enthusiast & cinema buff | Gaming, tech correspondent & reviewer at TechRadar