On October 30, PUBG India shut down its servers and took the game offline throughout India, culminating the mobile game’s highly successful innings in the country until two months ago, when the Modi government took to banning it out of concerns relating to national security and data privacy. In a statement published on PUBG India’s Facebook page, the game thanked all its supporters in India, and stated that it was sorry that its run in India had to come to such an end. PUBG was among the hundreds of mobile applications which were kicked out of India following heightened tensions with China, and New Delhi subsequently going for an all-out economic offensive against Beijing.
The announcement by PUBG comes after two long months of PUBG Corp trying to convince the government that it will shed all its ties with China if it is allowed to resume operations in India. For the same, PUBG Corp had even entered into negotiations with Reliance Jio, and was discussing outsourcing the distribution rights to the Indian telecom giant. It had even assured the Indian government that Tencent Games, a Chinese gaming major, had been stripped off the publishing rights, and that the Chinese tech major had nothing to do with the game’s operations in India any longer.
After getting banned in India, PUBG Mobile and PUBG Lite were removed from Google Play Store and Apple Store. However, those players who had installed the game prior to the ban could still access the game and play it. Effective yesterday, even such users will be unable to access the game. Essentially, PUBG’s India story is now officially over.
As reported by TFI earlier, while the primary concern which resulted in the ban was indeed national security and data privacy, the violent nature of the game, and consequent adverse effects on young minds too had not been given a miss by the government. PUBG Corp had been trying its best to convince the authorities that it had shed all its Chinese connections, however, the game being taken offline serves as a testimony to the fact that the Modi government does not walk back on decisions once taken, particularly when it comes to the security and integrity of the nation.