The ongoing geopolitical tensions between China and India has several repercussions and one of them is the increased scrutiny of Chinese apps by the Indian government. In June, the GOI banned 59 Chinese apps including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, a popular mobile MOBA that is especially big in Southeast Asia. On July 27, a report on the Economic Times suggested that the GOI have made yet another list of apps that are believed to have engaged in acts that violate user privacy and national security. This new list includes PUBG Mobile.
While there no conclusive evidence that the game is getting banned in the nation, we can say for a fact that it is under the scanner.
The title is synonymous to gaming in India and has gripped the entire nation with film stars, sports persons and influencers all getting in on the action. It has also led to the growth of a sustainable ecosystem of professional players, content creators, tournament organizers and organizations who have all reaped the rewards from the game's massive popularity in the nation. With over 175 million downloads, India is the country with the highest market share with 24% of the total downloads. Now, the talks of a
potential ban on the game threatens to run the livelihood of an entire ecosystem. However, with concerns of national security at stake, there really is no case to be made should the game be found to have engaged in unsavory activities. Should the game be banned, what other titles could the player base shift to? We take a look at the top 5 games that PUBG Mobile fans could migrate to:
On September 2, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology revealed its decision to ban 118 apps including PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor. The apps have been banned for allegedly ‘stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India’.
1. Garena Free Fire
Image via Garena
While Garena Free Fire may get some hate from PUBG Mobile fans, there is little doubt that the game is slowly but surely reaching the same levels of popularity. Especially in regions like South America and Thailand, Free Fire is already the most popular game and not just on the mobile platform. Being a battle royale, the game is similar to PUBG Mobile in terms of gameplay. However, it is also quite different with the introduction of special skills and perks which make engagements very different. It also runs much better on lower end devices and is therefore more accessible. In terms of gunplay and mechanics the game is not the same and unlike PUBG Mobile, where aim is a very important skill, good movement is highly rewarded in Free Fire. It also has vehicles and offers other modes within the game just like PUBG Mobile. Free Fire also has a thriving esports scene globally.
2. Call of Duty: Mobile
Image via Timi Studios
This popular franchise was ported to mobile in late 2019 and has been a massive success. The game brings back familiar features from past editions of Call of Duty and puts them on your mobile devices. The game also has a battle royale mode but the classic modes like hardpoint, domination, team deathmatch and search and destroy are definitely the more popular ways to play the game. In terms of mechanics, it offers a similar degree of realism like PUBG Mobile and you’ll find that the gun mechanics and skills like recoil control, hip firing, ADSing and quick scoping are all familiar. Of course the gameplay isn’t the same but Call of Duty is a massively successful franchise who have already laid the foundations for an esports ecosystem as well.
Image via Android Authority
Fortnite has been one of the biggest names in the world of videogames and it’s fair to say that the title helped make gaming mainstream. The game’s mobile version offers a familiar battle royale experience that PUBG fans are used to. However, it is a very different game with the one key element being construction. Building walls and towers makes the gameplay very different from PUBG Mobile and you’ll need to rethink how you approach fights in the game. In Fortnite, gun mechanics are also different and the concept of cover is non-existent as you can always build yourself some. While it may be a new experience for many players, the game’s success should be an indicator of just how many people enjoy what Fortnite has to offer.
4. Knives Out
Image via NetEase Games
Another game that has found success in the battle royale category is Knives Out. Developed by NetEase Games, the game offers a very similar battle royale experience when compared to PUBG Mobile. While the graphics and the movement can feel a little bit clunky, the game itself is well balanced and feels close to PUBG. Unfortunately the server situation isn't the best but should the game get popular. that could always be improved.
[Also read: 5 Games To Play While MLBB Is Banned In India]