You may remember the furore created by gamers across the country when the government banned PUBG Mobile, the battle royale game which had garnered immense popularity in India, along with a host of other apps citing security concerns amidst tensions with neighbouring country China. PUBG Mobile was one of the most popular Android games in recent times and often recognized as the face of the battle royale genre on phones.
More than nine months after it was banned in the world’s second-largest internet market, Krafton’s PUBG Mobile has made a comeback in India. While it has been rebranded as Battlegrounds Mobile India in the South Asian market and is available in the App Store for any who sign up for early access before it rolls out, it is still PUBG at its core.
There are some changes, however, including a new account system, features customized for Indian gamers, changing the colour of blood from red to green (to remind that this is just a game and not real), and framing the game as a “virtual simulation training ground.”
The changing of the colour of blood seems to be the biggest aesthetic change in Battlegrounds and seems to be part of a long-standing tradition of the censorship of violence in games, which has become an issue due to complaints that such games inspire violence and aggression in the younger gamers. Additionally, there are now warnings that pop up here and there to alert the player that the game is not real.
However, it is still PUBG at heart, following the same plot, and the same home screen and the same background score. Additionally, you will be able to transfer your information, data, and game progress from the PUBG Mobile Server to Battlegrounds, although for a certain period of time, and you cannot transfer all your data from PUBG Mobile to Battlegrounds Mobile India.
Ahead of its relaunch, PUBG Studio (owned by South Korea’s Krafton) made it clear that it was no longer associated with Tencent since it was its ties with the Chinese giant that earned it the boot from the Indian market last year. Now, Battlegrounds Mobile India data will be stored on Microsoft Azure data servers in India. This might be the greatest change that allowed the government to accept the game once again since its major concern was that user data was being sent to China.
PUBG Mobile’s return to the world’s second-largest market attracts all the more attention because it is perhaps the only banned app to make a comeback.