It’s time to say goodbye to Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds aka PUBG in India. Both PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, which were banned on 2 September by the Indian government over security concerns, will no longer work in the country.
The app was made unavailable to download on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store soon after the ban, but existing users could still access the game and continue playing it. Now, after almost two months, Tencent Games is finally terminating all service and access for users in India to PUBG Mobile and Lite version.
The announcement was sudden, but not surprising since the game was banned last month alongside other Chinese apps, and except for PUBG Mobile, all the other applications had already stopped working long before in the country.
PUBG Mobile India in a Facebook post said, “Dear Fans, 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 (together, “PUBG Mobile”) on 30 October, 2020. The rights to publish PUBG MOBILE in India will be returned to the owner of the PUBG intellectual property.”
Notably, while PUBG mobile might be gone, PUBG is still available for users. This is because PUBG Mobile is the mobile version of the PUBG game, which was originally developed by PUBG Corporation, a South Korean gaming company. However, PUBG Mobile came to the shore when the Chinese company Tencent Games bought a 1.5% stake in Bluehole Studio. This was the version that was banned by the Indian government due to its connection with China but not the PC version of the mobile gaming app.
In the first wave of Chinese app ban in India, the government had banned TikTok and 58 other apps in India. The apps were first removed from the app stores and then blocked on the networks. This meant that people could no longer download TikTok initially and then the users that already had the app, could not use the app anymore after it was blocked by servers. Apart from TikTok, popular apps including Shareit, WeChat, CamScanner, UC Browser were also banned during the first wave of Chinese apps ban in India.