The Indian government’s ban on PUBG Mobile brought the whole esports ecosystem in the country to a halt as teams missed out on PMPL-SA and streamers were forced to switch to other games like Free Fire and Call of Duty: Mobile. However, PUBG Corporation recently confirmed that they will make a comeback to India with a different publisher after deciding to comply with the interim order by Indian Government and thus, cutting ties with Tencent. According to a report by Business Wire, KRAFTON, Inc. (of which PUBG Corp is a subsidiary) announced today that it is working with Microsoft Azure to host PUBG MOBILE, among other products. Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud computing service empowering game creators to build, run, and grow their games on a global scale. The collaboration will ensure that privacy rights are respected and relevant software will be in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Speculations had been made about who PUBG Corp. could tap to be the new publisher for PUBG Mobile in India. Jio was reportedly in talks with Bluehole and popular companies like Microsoft and Airtel were looking to take up the rights of PUBG Mobile in India. Microsoft is apparently the frontrunner for bringing PUBG Mobile back to the country. This news has been leaked by many in the scene including Kronten, Ghatak and Ocean Sharma. Sources suggest that the popular Battle Royale mobile title may be unbanned in India by Diwali.
PUBG Mobile Ban And Revival
At the beginning of September, the Indian Government put out a press release announcing a ban on PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile LITE. The government decided to ban these apps citing that they were prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order. According to a Business Line Report, PUBG Corporation, the South Korean publisher behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), was in talks with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to resume its operations in India after the ban. Talks were in ‘early stages’ in September with officials from both the sides ‘working out the contours of how to structure various aspects of the deal’, according to a source.
In October, PUBG Corp posted a job opening in India for ‘Corporate Development Division Manager - India’ whose job description suggested that the process to relaunch the game in India was likely underway. Almost two months after the game’s ban, Tencent Games terminated all service and access for users in India to PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite. If sources are to be believed, Microsoft’s entry into the Indian mobile gaming scene will certainly revive the scene and perhaps even bolster it.