The ban on PUBG Mobile and other Chinese apps had left the fate of esports players and fans of the game in limbo. While pros stayed away from the game, die-hard fans of the game found loopholes in the government’s directives and kept playing the game. Since the ban, there have been several RTIs filed, trying to figure out when PUBG Mobile would come back to India.
According to Inc 42, In its reply to an RTI filed by a law student Prasoon Shekhar, the IT ministry said, “MeiTY does not ban any app. However blocking of specified Apps was done under the provisions of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and its Rules namely Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking Access of Information by the Public) Rules, 2009. Section 69A of the Act provides for a penalty to intermediaries for non-compliance of the blocking order. However, no penalty is prescribed for individual users of such apps.”
Many PUBG Mobile content creators and fans are continuing to play the game, having downloaded the APK file for PUBG Mobile’s Korea (KR) version from TapTap. A lot of popular streamers of the game have started monetising these streams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.
While the RTI may point to no penalty for individuals who play the game or use these apps, it is advisable to stay away from creating user-made content until PUBG Mobile India officially comes back to India. While there is some uncertainty about whether this is indeed legal under the current law, players from top Indian organisations like Orange Rock and TSM Entity are staying away from the game as of now. TSM Entity's Sid took to Instagram yesterday, discussing playing the game despite a ban, saying he and his team would be staying away until it comes back officially.
PUBG Mobile officials are hard at work to bring the game back to the country, so fans should be a bit more patient. Krafton is going full steam ahead with its efforts to launch PUBG Mobile India. While there have been some negative developments like not getting MeiTY’s official seal of approval, PUBG Mobile India has dropped a teaser featuring Kronten, Jonathan, and Dynamo earlier this year. PUBG India Pvt. Ltd, which is a subsidiary of a foreign company has officially registered itself with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 21st November.