Battlegrounds Mobile India is just 'PUBG Mobile' with a new coat of paint?

Battlgrounds Mobile India
(Image credit: Google Play Store)

PUBG Mobile's ban in India last year caused quite the furore among the gaming community, and more so among the ranks of the Krafton and Tencent Games that made the game. Since then the developers have been doing all they can to get the game back to India, which has seen drama of its own. 

And now after almost eight months since the ban of the game, Krafton seems to be on its way to relaunching 'PUBG Mobile' in India. But it would like you to believe that Battlegrounds Mobile India is a new game and has nothing to do with the original one. But it seems like there is plenty of evidence to point to the contrary. 

Is Battlegrounds Mobile India really just 'PUBG Mobile'? 

The easy answer to that question would just be to say yes, but we have to justify that which is as follows. While Battlegrounds Mobile India has been registered under a new name with Google, the URL of the Play Store listing reads:

Did you notice what was off there? Yes it does mention PUBG Mobile, which according to the report from IGN India, the 'com.pubg.imobile’ part of the URL that is known as the app package. The original game had the app package ‘com.pubg.krmobile’, where the 'kr' stood for Korea and here the 'i' stands for India which means this is a region specific package. 

And the presence of the PUBG name in the app package would ensure better search engine optimisation for the app which would mean better visibility on Google Play Store and more people would find it if they searched for 'PUBG Mobile'. But besides the help in SEO, the 'com.pubg.imobile' is also apparently a package directory root, which is rather difficult to change, and might end up affecting the game. 

Beside the cosmetic name change, other stuff that are teased in the promo images also seem to indicate that this is indeed the PUBG Mobile game. The characters, clothing, weapons, maps, as well as the buildings in the visuals on the Google Play Store page confirm that this is indeed the 'PUBG Mobile' game. 

While the game PUBG Mobile is essentially banned, the primary accusation was that the app was being used to send over crucial data on Indian citizens to China. As long as Krafton manages to set up data servers in India and comply by all the laws for publishing games in India it should be safe. 

But reports of Krafton's team trying to strong arm the influencers and streamers to avoid mentioning the name PUBG Mobile seems rather sketchy and unnecessary. This could only be a result of the fear that being associated to the PUBG Mobile might bring about similar misfortunes to the game. 


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Bodhisatwa Ray

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