Being one of the most popular mobile games among youngsters around the world, PUBG Mobile players have reportedly spent over $3.5 billion on the game ever since its launch in 2018. Especially in 2020, when users were forced to stay indoors due to Coronavirus, the game has earned $1.8 billion and witnessed 198 million downloads this year, recording $500 million revenue in the last 72 days.
While these figures look fantastic for the company, the scenario is not the same in India where it was banned earlier this month. PUBG has been pulled down from the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store in the country. Tencent, the publisher of the game, had reportedly lost $34 billion of its market value, just a day after India banned 118 Chinese applications.
According to a report, about 24% of PUBG’s global downloads are from India, owing to the massive popularity of the game. However, India accounts for only 1.2% of PUBG Mobile’s revenues. This means Indian gamers do not make in-app purchases on things like Royal Pass, various skins, and other in-items of the game.
Despite the unsatisfactory revenue figure in India, the game’s original owner South Korea-PUBG Corporation is making efforts to unban the game in the country. PUBG Corp is reportedly looking into the entire security issue raised by the Indian government and has taken away the official publishing rights from Tencent Games. The company is further looking for an Indian brand for the official distribution of the game. This means PUBG could be back in India if the company manages to convince the Indian government that it has no links to Chinese PLA.
The Centre banned 118 more Chinese mobile applications including PUBG amid the prolonged standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control. As per the Union government, they were engaged in activities that are prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the state. The Information Technology Ministry received numerous complaints regarding misuse of these Apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers located outside India.
The Apps have been banned in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices. The Centre exuded confidence that this move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. Recently, the Information and Technology Ministry banned 47 Apps which were variants or clones of the 59 Chinese-linked Apps banned earlier.
(Image credits: PUBG)