In another “digital strike” against China on Wednesday, the mobile and lite version of the popular multiplayer battle game PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG) is one of the 118 Chinese apps banned by the IT Ministry; a part of a crackdown that commenced in June amid surging tensions with China in Ladakh.
When the Government of India banned 59 Chinese apps, including the widely popular video app TikTok, the discussion of the PUBG ban began. According to reports, PUBG’s ties with Tencent, China’s most populous gaming company, had put it under the scanning of the Indian government, and the center was investigating Tencent’s relationship and involvement with the Chinese government.
Since the first round of application bans against TikTok, the ban may have made most people uneasy. PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite both have more than 50 million active users in the country, with approximately 13 million clockings per day.
Currently, PUBG applications have more than 600 million downloads worldwide. By the way, the non-mobile version of the game, PUBG PC, is made in Korea and owned by Koreans, but it is now the least played version in India. The two mobile versions are developed and owned by the “Tencent Games“, a Chinese company.
What Is The Problem With PUBG?
In addition to increasing tensions with China in Ladakh and security issues, there are various other problems with PUBG.
The game was produced by PUBG Corporation, Bluehole, a subsidiary of a South Korean company, and was released in 2017. The mobile version was released in 2018. PUBG is a survival game where 100 players land on the island. They must survive by collecting weapons and kill other players. The last player finally wins the famous “Chicken Dinner”.
Earlier, Gujarat started the process of banning this app and became the first state to ban the game. On January 23, 2019, they banned the game. A notice was issued on March 6, according to which Police Commissioner Manoj Agrawal, prohibited the use of PUBG in Gujarat, Rajkot. According to the notice, this was due to the increase in violence among children and young people suspected to be the result of playing games.
They even arrested 20 people, of which 6 were college students arrested for playing this game. In India, such accusations against PUBG are not the first to rise. Not that long ago, in January itself, 11-year-old Ahad Nizam wrote a letter to local and central government authorities at all levels, asking them to ban games.
According to his letter, the addiction to games, mainly young school-age children and college students, is affecting their studies, and the boy eventually reached the Mumbai High Court itself. After that, BHC itself has asked the governments of Maharashtra and India to respond to his PIL (Public Interest Litigation). The strange thing is GOI didn’t take any action against Chinese apps at that time, which is now taking place after the Ladakh incident.
A psychologist, Dr. Dhruv Thakkar, even said: PUBG Game is detrimental to some extent because it is addictive. Police notification can help curb this rage which, in many cases, is the result of peer pressure.
As if all that was not enough, In 2018, two young people, Swapnil Annapurna (22 years old) and Nagesh Gore (24 years old) died while playing PUBG game in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra.
About 572 kilometers away from Mumbai, the two young men were hit by the Hyderabad-Ajmer train. They were focused on playing games and did not pay enough attention to their whereabouts.
Why PUBG is So Popular in India?
Many factors make PUBG popular in the country-streaming is easy, you can have a voice chat with friends while playing, and the game is designed to attract adrenaline and keep you anxious. It managed to achieve the correct fusion of reality and game ability.
India is the largest user market for games. But games also account for most of the income of the Indian e-sports industry. For several years, teenagers have dropped out of schools and universities to participate in professional leagues and tournaments, earning tens of thousands of bonuses, endorsement fees, sponsorships, and revenue from their online fan followers every month. Some of these young people are represented by talent management agencies such as FNATIC India and Ebullient Gaming India, which are dedicated to professional gamers-most of them specialize in PUBG Mobile or Lite.
Ebullient’s co-founder, 22-year-old Aman Garg, said that half of his income comes from PUBG streaming – that’s when people watch YouTube, watch the live broadcast, and watch the other people play this game live, enjoy banter and live commentary, and see how they will make it, beyond all levels, who will beat whom. Funding comes from sponsorship and audience donations.
Garg said on Wednesday: This ban will undoubtedly cause a setback to the entire Indian e-sports industry. PUBG has completed the work of restoring the entire gaming culture in India on a large scale, and it is time to see which game will replace it. He estimated that it would take about eight months to a year to fill the PUBG shape void.
Just in June this year, the Indian team ‘Orange Rock’ won the South Asian PMPL (PUBG Mobile Pro League) championship and ranked second in the world league. Garg said: This is the first time the Indian team has won at that level.
The second season of the PMPL South Asia Tour is scheduled to take place on September 11th, with 20 Indian teams participating. In the game organized by Tencent, it is not clear what the status of the Indian team will be.
Top professional players like Soul Mortal (Naman Mathur) and Scout (Tanmay Singh) have stated online that they are not worried. Like Garg, they think this move will only make room for the development of other games.
Garg said: Now, free firefighting and COD (Call of Duty) mobile technology is exploding. People have become accustomed to the PUBG format. Other games have different maps and characters, but audiences, streamers, and gamers,—they will all adapt.
After all, it was just a game?
No doubt, For teenagers who spend hours playing this game every day, this decision may shock them. Soon after the GOI ban decision, the hilarious reaction taking a dig at their dilemma and talked about their parents’ happiness over the ban on the PUBG Game.
Don’t be Disheartened Gamers. You will Get a Better Virtual Battleground Soon!