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Impact of PUBG Mobile Ban in India

How has the ban affected the players and developers

On 2nd September, the Government of India chose to ban 118 Chinese apps. The list of banned apps in India had the most popular and famous Battle Royale game PlayerUnknown’s BattleGround Mobile (PUBGM) and PUBG Mobile Lite too. According to the reports and speculations, the game was hugely popular among the youth. With the continuous ban of games, it is gradually hampering the scene of mobile gaming in India. The analysis says that India had 24% users of the game in the entire world, counting around 50 million players and that’s an accountable proportion. The ban had an adverse impact on the entire PUBG Mobile community in India.

PUBG Mobile installations in India
Installation in India

While it violated the rules and privacy policy, it resulted in the ban. The government declared that the app is a threat to national sovereignty and integrity. Well, the controversies had started way earlier when multiple state governments had filed petitions to ban the game. The game was already facing challenges but was on a safe side. But since then it was on the eye of the Central Government till yesterday when they imposed a permanent ban

Impact of the PUBG Mobile ban in India

The moment the ban was imposed in India, Twitter and Facebook started flooding with tweets, posts, memes, and stories about PUBG Mobile, clearly seen that it had a hard impact on fans. The players couldn’t believe it at first until the news spread all over the internet. People started posting farewell statuses and stories on Social Media. 

A lot of people showed their dissatisfaction and frustration over the decision of the ban. Well, the game was truly a timepass to keep them busy during the lockdown. Many people are so hooked to this game that it’s really hard for them to spend time. Oh. What a time killer this game was. The majority of people tagged the government’s and Prime Minister’s official Twitter handle to show their frustration and asked tons of questions regarding the ban. This clearly shows how addicted people were to this Battle Royale. Tencent did a good job though. 

Public reactions on PUBG Mobile ban
Some Public Reactions On Twitter

Well, in addition to it Tencent Games recently changed its privacy policy and terms & conditions to avoid the ban but unfortunately, it was of no use. 

PUBGM was not only a game, but it was also a full time earning platform for streamers. Yes, the streamers earned a lot of money by live-streaming the game and posting regular videos on it. Besides that, they receive donations from the viewers. The ban has left them clueless now. Famous streamers like Mortal, Dynamo, etc. have given their views and opinions about the game. How it’s going to affect them and other streamers who considered streaming as their only source of income. Though they are really sad and worried they still support the decision of the Government.

Is it going to affect the esports in India?

The release of PUBG Mobile since 2018 had changed the Indian esports scene. The game played an active role in encouraging and enhancing the esports opportunity among the youth. In 2018, when Jio 4G network launched, most gamers shifted to online gaming, and PUBGM at the very moment boosted it on a very significant scale. PUBG Mobile India series 2020 is scheduled later this year. With an amount of ₹55 Lakh as the prize pool with a huge player base, sponsors, and investment from both domestic and international sources. This amount really hyped those PUBGM hooked youth to take the game more seriously.

If the information is correct then there’s no game which had taken such big popularity in the Indian eSports history and to offer such a hefty amount as the prize. With the ban imposed on PUBG Mobile, the E-sport segment in India will drastically deteriorate. 

PUBG Mobile is more than just a game

For some people, it was a means of timepass but for some, it had become a dangerous addiction. Recently, the World Health Organisation has identified PUBGM as a real mental health altering game. There have been a lot of cases submitted regarding the negative side effects due to the game. Many people committed suicide for losing a game, they skipped meals, and had extreme physical and mental health issue. Many suffer from depression and insomnia. And there is shocking news of a 16-year-old kid, trying to get ransom from his parents by faking his own kidnapping. Day by day the situation was going worse in many parts of the country and it was really a matter of concern. It’s now a concern for the parents for their children’s growing addiction.

Apart from all the pros and cons, it had become an emotion for many gamers. After the ban, many players came forward and expressed how the game changed their life, how it helped in coping with their depression, and cheered them in their hard times. For them, it was not only a mere game but a part and parcel of their life. It’s a very hard time for them. Not only gamers are suffering but the company is itself facing a huge loss.

Effect of the ban on Tencent Games and China

According to various sources and research, we fond out that Tencent Games is lost $14 Billion in the market share. It is the biggest loss the company ever had. The world’s biggest Video Game Vendor is having its unimaginable loss by getting banned in India. Recently, Tencent Games hit a lifetime revenue of $3 Billion as per the Sensor Tower reports. The impact of the PUBG Mobile ban in India is real, and the developers could feel the heat.

PUBG Mobile revenue in India
The company had huge gains in this lockdown period

It’s clear now, China is getting benefited from the users in India. The Chinese Government couldn’t handle the loss, which is clearly seen when their government reacted to the ban imposed by the Indian Government. The spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce told their media that

India’s action not only harms the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese investors and services providers but also harms the interests of Indian consumers while doing damage to India’s investment climate as an open economy

Because its ultimately affecting their country’s economy. 

New Opportunities and Plans for the future

Apart from all this, there’s a good opportunity too. As we all know that PUBG Mobile had dominated the Battle Royale genre since its release, it had become a barrier for the new game developers. No matter, a new game of a particular genre was released, it failed to become popular. Many developers gave up hopes on creating games in this category because PUBGM had so much influence on the gamers that the news games couldn’t get enough player base. If there’s no player base then the game is pretty dead. But now there’s a big opportunity for devs to create something new.

The Indian Government has already launched an initiative called “Atma Nirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’’. This could be the best chance for the devs to show their work and come out with an Indian alternative for PUBGM.

FAU-G: Already a new rival to PUBG Mobile?

A day after the ban, they are all set with a desi version of PUBG Mobile called FAU-G. This game is made by Indian developer “n-Core Games“. The game is actively promoted by the Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, and the game comes under the banner of the Atma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge and the developer even promises to donate 20% of the revenue generated to a trust named Bharat Ke Veer. Also, the recent news of confirmation by the developers is that FAU-G will be released by the end of October to mobile devices. A very promising start no doubt. But looks like it is the strategy of the Government to ban PUBG Mobile, to give a push to the games developed in India under the Atma Nirbhar Initiative. Is the government trying to make its initiative a successful one?

Well, it’s worth finding out. Recently the game is caught for copying the cover picture from Shutterstock and the image was also used on a blog post from Fanatical Futurist, and using as its first poster. The game is already receiving a bad impression from the Indian community for such an act. However, we hope the game won’t involve in this mess again and we wish for the best.

Image Credits: Twitter

The aftermath of the PUBG Mobile ban in India

So, by this, we can judge the aftermath of the PUBG Mobile ban. In all aspects, it’s both good and bad. The positives include that players who were severely addicted will move on and do productive tasks, while streamers will have to switch to other games, which might not attract views as PUBG Mobile used to.

The question is also on how the replacements will fare in comparison to PUBG Mobile, and how they can fill the void created by the ban on the game. However, it is better for the youth and all the PUBG Mobile gamers in the professional scene to accept the fact and wait a bit longer to see the future scenario of the ban.

What are your opinions on the PUBG Mobile ban in India? How do you think it has made an impact? Do let us know in the comments!

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