Mobile battle royale title PUBG Mobile will be making a return to India. The app was banned in that territory earlier this year, but PUBG Corporation has announced a new version of the game specifically for the Indian market, alongside a sizeable investment in the country's gaming industry.
What will PUBG Mobile India look like?
According to PUBG Corporation (note: link is in Korean and we're using machine translation), the new version of PUBG Mobile has been created specifically to "reflect the needs and preferences of Indian users". This means some of the content in the game has been changed; blood will appear green, outfits and costumes will automatically be applied, and the backdrop is a "virtual simulation training ground". Ironically, given that PUBG Mobile was originally banned due to its links with China, this version will be close to the changes made in the Chinese version of the game.
In addition to these game changes, PUBG Corporation is establishing an Indian branch in order to specifically cater to this version of PUBG Mobile. The Indian office will employ around 100 staff, with parent company Krafton making an investment worth around $100 million. This investment is intended to boost local gaming and esports markets. As gaming analyst Daniel Ahmad points out, PUBG Mobile was the number-1 grossing mobile game in India prior to being banned, so it makes a lot of sense that PUBG Corporation would want to salvage that market.
Not surprising to see PUBG Corp take this route.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) November 12, 2020
PUBG Mobile was the #1 grossing mobile game in India, and its ban was felt by both the developers and players.
This new custom version will aim to satisfy regulators, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough. https://t.co/uQDc2qK5B5
When can we expect to see PUBG Mobile India?
At time of writing, the Indian regulators haven't approved PUBG Mobile for release in the country. PUBG Mobile has cut ties with Chinese company Tencent in India, and given that the Indian government's main concern was data being exploited by China, this could be enough to see the game approved. A couple of days ago, PUBG Mobile and PUBG Corporation signed a deal with Microsoft to move its cloud services to Azure, with Microsoft running three cloud regions in India. PUBG Corporation says this new version of the game will "make the user's privacy and security a top priority". It remains to be seen how PUBG Mobile will fare in India going forward.
How do you feel about these PUBG Mobile changes in India? Let us know in the comments below!