When the news of PUBG Mobile being banned in India broke out, avid PUBG players were filled with remorse, waiting to bid farewell to a big part of their lives. However, as they waited and waited, the supposed ban never came. Many, including myself, thought that the chapter was over, and that PUBG’s removal from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store is as worse as it was going to get. However, PUBG Mobile has now broken silence, and said that it will terminate access for players residing in India, starting October 30.
“To comply with the interim order of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology dated September 2, 2020, Tencent Games will terminate all service and access for users in India to PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite (together, “PUBG Mobile”) on October 30, 2020. The rights to publish PUBG MOBILE in India will be returned to the owner of the PUBG intellectual property,” the company said.
The game, along with its lite version-PUBG Lite and 115 other apps, was banned in India back in early September. The government had issued this ban under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, stating that the apps “are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order.” This, followed by a similar ban of TikTok and 58 other Chinese Apps back in June, was seen as an attempt to retaliate against China, amid acrimony between the two neighbouring states over a border dispute.
Days after the ban was first announced, the game was taken off app stores over the country, and many awaited for the inevitable total ban. However, that ban never came. Users were still able to update the game through the PUBG Mobile website, and play it just like they used to.
Moreover, the news that PUBG Corporation was ending its partnership with Tencent, eliminating the ‘China’ from the ‘Anti China’ feeling brewing in the country filled fans with hope. With this, many speculated that the game would make a return in India, especially since the ban had been pending for months now.
“We deeply regret this outcome, and sincerely thank you for your support and love for PUBG MOBILE in India,” it added.
And there you have it. Go queue for a lobby for the last time.