PUBG Mobile returns to India and what it means for the esports scene
News outlets far and wide are reporting about a new PUBG Mobile version heading to India soon. Recently, Krafton and Microsoft signed a partnership for Azure cloud services to host PUBG and other Krafton multiplatform products. The deal paved a way for PUBG Mobile India’s return to the market, as well as a potential restart to India’s sprawling competitive PUBG Mobile scene.
It was quite an upset earlier this year when the extremely popular mobile version of PUBG was banned in India, along with a whole slew of other Chinese-published games and apps. Tencent, the former PUBG Mobile publisher was the target of the ban, prompting Krafton to sever ties and look for alternatives. Finally, PUBG fans in India can rejoice, as the game is likely on its way back.
The return of the game to the India market is especially important for the sprawling ecosystem created by various PUBG Mobile events including PMCO and PMCC, whose fate hangs in the balance after the ban.
A new PUBG Mobile
Based on initial news reports, it won’t simply be an unban of the game though. Instead, there will be a dedicated version of the game created just for Indian players. PUBG Corp has confirmed that the special version will be called PUBG Mobile India. It hasn’t revealed exactly when the new title will be released, but at least players know it’s coming back.
The developers acknowledge the security concerns that were cited as a reason for the ban, and also the dedication of their Indian fans.
The news published on the official website mentions that it decided to no longer authorize the PUBG franchise to Tencent as far as the Indian market is concerned – instead, they themselves will make a new client and release it to Indian players, thus wiping out concerns about safety and data protection that so often accompany the name ‘Tencent’.
PUBG Corp's partnership with Microsoft to host PUBG and PUBG Mobile on Azure has led to speculation that the company made the move so that it can re-enter the India market, where the game was banned earlier this year
Going to do a quick thread on this 1/https://t.co/8ztY9zshJx
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) November 10, 2020
Additionally, PUBG Corp also announced that they will try to work with the Indian government to come up with a solution that works for everyone. To this end, PUBG’s parent company Krafton also pledged a $100 million investment to further support the esports scene in India.
This pledge is specifically meant to cultivate local ecosystems in India, be they video game, esports or other entertainment and tech areas.
A curious piece of news
One thing worth noting abut this news is that at the time of writing this article, sources on this were extremely sparce. Most of the news outlets are quoting a single “press release” and an article on Techcrunch. Nothing has been directly posted on PUBG’s website or the Krafton blog, other than the somewhat outdated post on their site further up in the article.
While the news certainly seems genuine, everybody awaits additional news and clarification about what the PUBG Mobile India working plan is. We are also waiting for event organizers NODWIN and PUBG Mobile Esports to give their set of updates about India’s competitive PUBG Mobile scene.
We will update our news accordingly once more information comes to light.