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PUBG Mobile India Launch Approved? MeitY Says No in Response to RTIs

PUBG Mobile India is the country-specific version of the popular battle royale game, announced by the developer as a means to re-enter after the ban.

PUBG Mobile India Launch Approved? MeitY Says No in Response to RTIs

PUBG Mobile India launch status is unclear as the MeitY simply says it doesn't grant permissions

Highlights
  • PUBG Mobile was banned in India in September
  • PUBG Corporation recently teased PUBG Mobile India launch
  • RTI responses by MeitY show no permission has been granted

PUBG Mobile India has not yet been granted permission to launch by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), as two recent reports. Responses given by the ministry in response to two different RTI applications revealed that no such permission has been granted. Last month, PUBG Corporation announced the launch of the India-specific game, PUBG Mobile India, that could bring the game back to the country. The South Korean company also promised investments worth $100 million (roughly Rs. 734 crores) in the Indian market “to cultivate” the local version of the battle royale game that had been banned by the government in September.

“MeitY does not grant permission for starting of any websites / mobile Apps / service. Accordingly, MeitY has not granted permission to PUBG / PUBG mobile India,” the ministry said in response to the RTI filed by MediaNama. The RTI application was seeking clarity on whether Krafton or its subsidiary PUBG Corporation asked for or received permissions on the re-launch of PUBG Mobile.

In a separate RTI response, the ministry simply stated that no permissions had been given for the launch of PUBG in the country. “MeitY has not given any permission for launch of PUBG,” the ministry said in its response dated December 12.

The RTI responses given by the ministry do not prove any details on whether the India-specific PUBG Mobile, which was teased to “come soon” to the country, will launch with the government's support. The MeitY response is that it does not grant permission for starting of any apps — this just means that officially, it would not pre-approve an app.

At the same time, if the game launches, it could face action — just like what we saw earlier with the original PUBG Mobile. But the response does not necessarily say that either.

PUBG Corporation took over the PUBG Mobile franchise and its publishing responsibilities in the country from Shenzhen-based Tencent Games shortly after the ban was imposed in September. The company, which also holds the rights for the PC variant of PUBG, is also improving in-game content and establishing a local office with fresh hiring of over 100 employees to address some of the earlier issues.

“In addition to establishing a local office, the company will look to actively collaborate and leverage local businesses to strengthen its gaming service,” the company had said while announcing the launch of PUBG Mobile India.

However, given the responses to the RTI applications, PUBG Corporation may need to take some additional time to bring the new game to the country. The company is also likely to face issues in releasing the game on Apple App Store and Google Play store, given that it has not yet received a nod from MeitY.

Gadgets 360 has reached out to PUBG Corporation for clarity on the launch of PUBG Mobile India and will update this space when the company responds.


Should the government explain why Chinese apps were banned? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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