PUBG Mobile India, which is the reworked version of PUBG Mobile, has been rumored to be making a comeback for almost a month now. This was fanned more with the announcement of PUBG Mobile India by PUBG Corporation. Despite the announcement from the company there isn't any sign of the game being unbanned by the government. In fact, PUBG Mobile officials are now said to be looking for a meeting with MEITY for the same.
MEITY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) banned PUBG Mobile alongside 118 apps on September 2 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.” But with passage of more time with inaction, the PUBG Mobile India officials seem rather frustrated.
The step was taken post complaints stating that these apps were stealing and sharing data with unauthorized third parties whose servers were located outside India. With a user base of over 33 million at its peak, PUBG Mobile suffered a big blow overnight. Even the newly formed Indian company executives of PUBG have been repeatedly requesting the ministry for a meeting.
But according to a report by InsideSport (opens in new tab), the Ministry is yet to grant the request for the meeting. The report said, "The proposed meeting will decide if permission to relaunch can be granted to PUBG or not." It added, "In the current circumstances it will not be easy for the game to relaunch before Jan-Feb next year and that too will depend on the stance of the government."
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PUBG Mobile India: The attempt to come back
Following the ban PUBG Corp let go of its partnership with Tencent Games in India, and looked to team up with other Indian companies which did not seem to materialize. It then registered its own company for the purpose. It was recently reported that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has apparently approved the registration of PUBG India Pvt. Ltd. which is a privately held company under the registrar of companies.
The company then announced PUBG Mobile India as a new game designed keeping the local interests in mind. Addressing the data storage concerns, it will conduct frequent audits and verifications on the storage systems to ensure that the Indian users’ personal information is safely managed.
Additionally, there will be region-exclusive tweaks to reflect local needs. For starters, the new game will be set in a virtual simulation training ground. TechRadar is awaiting clarity on whether this means that existing maps will not make it to the new game or if it is an additional game mode.
All characters will also start clothed in the Indian version, unlike the previous one where they would be in their undergarments. Effects such as bleeding will be replaced with green hit marks to signify the virtual nature of the game. To promote healthier gameplay habits and control how much time users spend in PUBG Mobile India, the game will also introduce a feature that will restrict extended sessions.
Despite all these efforts it seems like MEITY is less than interested in unbanning the game. Reports (opens in new tab)quoting sources in the ministry say, "Any banned entity can’t operate just by floating new company. Even TikTok or anyone else can do that. They will have to get permissions from MEITY to operate once again in India."
This raises questions on how long it will take PUBG Mobile India to really make its debut in India.
Or, more direly, is it possible at all for it to do so?