The simplified versions of the main game, PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, have been terminated in India. The main game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation will continue to work. This was both announced and became effective on October 30, 2020. The news was received with sadness by the gamer community in India. People who try to enter will get the following message: “Server is busy, please try again later. Error code: restrict-area”.
Some die-hard players have hoped to continue playing by keeping the game installed or saving a .apk file. However, Tencent Games announced that all access and services will be terminated, even with a backup or active installation. Furthermore, Tencent Games will return publishing rights for both mobile games to the intellectual property owner everywhere, PUBG Corporation. Here’s a full statement of Tencent Games released on Facebook.
As you can see, PUBG Mobile was officially banned by the interim order issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on September 2, 2020. The reason? PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite were named among 118 apps that were suspended in India due to the fear of data leaks and security threats from China. The game publisher denies those claims. They still maintain that they took the utmost care of protecting user privacy and personal information.
The fear of Indian authorities didn’t stop there and wasn’t entirely off basis. On October 31, 2020, PUBG Corporation announced they will merge with a South Korean video game holding company, Krafton Inc. This will happen on December 2, 2020, but is also where the situation gets a bit more confusing. First, PUBG Corporation is a subsidiary of BlueHole Studios. Secondly, BlueHole Studios is also the founder of Krafton Inc. Thirdly, Krafton Inc., through this corporate merger, will essentially become the parent company. They will adopt that name after December 2 and will become a unified brand.