- PUBG Mobile along with 69 other Chinese applications were banned by the Indian Government on 2nd September 2020
- PUBG Mobile has decided to shut down all of its Indian servers
- The Indian servers will be closed on 30th October
Less than 2 months since the Indian Government banned the famous PUBG Mobile Lite games in the country over the national security threat, the developer of PUBG Corp. has announced that it will shut down its Indian servers for the games on the 30th October, via a Facebook post.
In India, the servers are being operated by the Chinese firm called Tencent Games.
Even though the game was taken down from both Google Play Store and the Apple App Store on the 2nd of September to prevent new downloads after the ban, the closure of the servers will mean that the games will no longer be available to the existing users who have it already installed on their devices before the ban.
The Facebook post from PUBG Mobile stated, “To comply with the interim order of the ministry of electronics and information technology dated 2 September 2020, Tencent Games will terminate all service and access for users in India to PUBG Mobile Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG Mobile Lite on 30 October 2020. The rights to publish PUBG Mobile in India will be returned to the owner of the PUBG intellectual property,” quoted by a leading news agency of India.
However, XploringIndia could not confirm if this news is true or not.
After the harsh and prompt ban, PUBG Corp. had severed ties with Tencent Games and revoked their publishing rights for the famours gaming franchise in India. Having said this, Tencent continues to handle their distribution outside of India.
India was one of the largest markets for PUBG Mobile with 180 million (18 crore) out of the global 752 million (75.2 crore) downloads of this game. The game had generated close to $28 million since July 2019 through in-app purchases alone, as per information published by Sensor Tower.
PUBG Mobile was also a major chunk of revenue for the eSports companies and professional mobile gamers. Going by the industry sources, the average viewership for larger scale PUBG Mobile tournaments went over 2 million (20 lakh) very easily.
Many professional games and also the eSports tournaments have started switching to other Multi-Player online games including Garena Free Fire since PUBG Mobile was banned in the country.
A country developed game called FAU-G, is also under development by an Indian gaming startup named nCore Games.
After severing ties with Tencent Games in India, PUBG Corp. also made attempts to hand over the distribution rights to an Indian company, a person aware of the matter was cited by the news agency.
On one hand, there are many who believe that getting an Indian company on board will resolve all issues for PUBG Mobile with the Indian Government but on the other hand, experts say that ownership is just one part of the issue. The government had raised several privacy and security related concerns with the game and had sent 70 queries on the matter to its publishers.