In the wake of the PUBG Mobile ban in India, PUBG Corporation has taken over the publishing rights for the game from Tencent in the region. The move is aimed at distancing the game from the Chinese conglomerate as tensions between India and China continue to run high. This is also a positive sign for gamers in the country as it means that active steps are being taken to ensure that players can continue to play the game.
In a statement put out by PUBG Corp, the company mentions that it understands and respects the Indian Government’s concerns while also having seen the tremendous amount of support and love for the game by players in the region. The announcement says “PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorize the PUBG MOBILE franchise to Tencent Games in India. Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country. As the company explores ways to provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future, it is committed to doing so by sustaining a localized and healthy gameplay environment for its fans.”
How is PUBG Corp Different from Tencent?
PUBG Corporation is a South Korean entity that owns the PlayerUnknown BattleGrounds IP. The company is a subsidiary of Krafton Inc, which owns other subsidiaries like Bluehole Studio which was responsible for developing the PC version of the game. While the mobile version of the game is being developed by Tencent, PUBG Corp will take over as the publishers for the game in the region.
What is the difference between a publisher and a developer?
In videogames, publishers are the entities which own the game and choose how and when to release them. They may develop the games internally or work with developers who have the resources to create and maintain the game. Initially, PUBG Mobile was both developed and published by Tencent after they licensed the PUBG IP from Krafton. However, given the ban and strategic importance of distancing the title from China, a decision has been made to give back the publishing rights to PUBG Corp.
Will this move lead to the unbanning of PUBG Mobile in India?
While in itself the move might not be enough to get the game unbanned in India because of its ties with Tencent, it certainly shows how invested both Tencent and PUBG Corp are in having access to the Indian player base. The Indian market is one of the largest mobile markets in the world and with one of the lowest average ages coupled with rapidly improving internet and mobile infrastructure, it has massive potential that no one wants to miss out on. PUBG Mobile success in the region makes India one of its biggest markets and unlikely that PUBG Corp let this go without a fight. With so many stakeholders, both local and foreign in the Indian PUBG Mobile space, there is a significant amount of money involved in the decision as well. Tencent has already lost $42 Billion in Market Value since the game was banned in India, which shows just how massive the Indian market is.
While the Indian authorities revealed their decision to ban the game 6 days ago and there remains a cloud of doubt around the title since, there is hope that PUBG Corp and the Indian authorities are able to work things out in the near future.