A teenager playing PUBG mobile managed to set his family back by Rs. 16 lakh. PUBG Mobile has remained a popular game during the global pandemic and seen rapid growth in revenues because people stuck at home have been gaming more, according to Sensor Tower analysis. However, the battle royale game from Tencent Games has also received flak from different corners for its "addictive" gameplay that has taken its users to the extremes. A new report on Thursday claimed that a teenager from Punjab spent Rs. 16 lakhs from his parents' bank accounts to make in-app purchases on PUBG Mobile. It added that the 17-year-old from Kharar spent his father's life's savings, kept for medical expenses.
Citing the teen's parents, a report by Tribune India said that the teenager had access to three bank accounts that he used to upgrade his PUBG Mobile account. The teenager reportedly made in-app purchases for his teammates as well. The report added that the family only came to learn about this from their bank statements.
It is said that the father of the minor is a government employee and has a medical history. The father, who did not wish to be named, told Tribune India that 17-year-old lived with his mother, while he was posted elsewhere. "He used her [mother's] mobile phone to make all transactions and would delete the message regarding amount debited from the account," the father said.
The report added that the parents thought the 17-year-old was excessively using the smartphone "for online study." Following the incident, the teenager is made to work in a repair shop, to avoid spending more time on PUBG Mobile. "I just can't let him sit idle at home and cannot give him a mobile phone even for studying," the father told the daily.
There have been several incidents in the past where violence was reported allegedly due to "PUBG addiction." Gadgets 360 last year spoke to people across Delhi where many indicated that it's unfair to call out the platform for violence-related incidence, though cautioning that a one should regularly check the time spent on the app.
At the same time, Sensor Tower has highlighted that PUBG Mobile from Tencent saw over $226 million (roughly Rs. 1,668 crores) user spending in May. The platform has seen a massive global revenue gain in the first half of this year, bringing its lifetime collections to $3 billion (roughly Rs. 22,457 crores).
While the Punjab teen incident may shock people, it is hardly the first time a child or a teen has spent huge sums of money on a mobile game like PUBG Mobile.
Here are some previous instances when kids splurged parents' money on video games purchases:
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