On September 2, the government of India put out an announcement saying that they would be banning 118 apps including PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite in India. Today, months after the ban, the PUBG Mobile's official Facebook page announced that Tencent Games will terminate all service and access for users in India to PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite from 30th October 2020. The rights to publish PUBG MOBILE in India will be returned to the owner of the PUBG intellectual property.
In the months following the ban, the future of Indian players, teams, and subsequent tournaments was in question. Things weren’t looking good for PUBG Mobile as on 25th September, all Indian teams were disallowed from participating in the PUBG Mobile Pro League Fall Split 2020 South Asia. This also meant that Indian teams cannot play PMPL SA regardless of which country they may be physically present in. This forced the top 12 teams from the region including Orange Rock, TSM Entity, Nova GodLike, Galaxy Racer, Fnatic, Team SouL, UMumba eSports and TeamIND to sit out the tournament.
Will PUBG Mobile’s Statement Finally Settle The Dust?
Days after the ban, the PUBG Corporation put out a statement saying, “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.” According to a Business Line Report, PUBG Corporation was reportedly in talks with the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to resume its operations in India after the ban. However, these talks seem to have not yielded any results.
Given the size of the Indian market and how much money it used to make for Tencent, it’s unlikely that PUBG Mobile will just shut shop and leave. They certainly are already in the process of re-establishing PUBG Mobile in the country, as is evident in their latest job posting on LinkedIn where they are looking for a Development Manager who would closely work with getting PUBG Mobile back to India.