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MeitY nixes PUBG Mobile launch plans in India

MeitY nixes PUBG Mobile launch plans in India
Photo Credit: Reuters
18 Dec, 2020

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has stated that it has not granted clearance to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) to launch its India-specific version. 

The clarification was issued in response to an Right to Information (RTI) request by GEM Esports, a platform that offers news and updates on the game.

The central public information officer on December 11 said that “MeitY has not given any permission for launch of PUBG,” according to a copy of the RTI published by the portal. The PUBG app was banned along with 58 other Chinese apps in September. 

In November, PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean gaming company Krafton, had announced that it would launch a version specifically for India, called PUBG Mobile India. Prior to this, PUBG Corporation had revoked Tencent Holdings’ mobile publishing rights for the game in the country in an attempt to distance itself from the Chinese technology giant. Tencent holds a 5% stake in Krafton. 

Apart from announcing a separate version of the game, PUBG Corporation also stated that it was looking to invest $100 million in India to promote local video games, esports and local Information technology companies.

While it is not the norm to seek approval from MeitY to release an app on app stores, PUBG may require explicit permission from concerned departments as it was banned on national security grounds. 

TechCircle reached out to PUBG through its agency with detailed email queries, which were not answered till the time of publishing the story.