“MeitY has not granted permission to PUBG/PUBG Mobile India.”
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology may have decided to block PUBG Mobile over privacy concerns, but it seems reversing that decision, allowing the game to re-launch–either as is or in the form of PUBG Mobile India–would be easier said than done. In response to an RTI query, the IT Ministry said, “MeitY does not grant permission for starting of any websites/mobile Apps/service,” and “accordingly, “MeitY has not granted permission to PUBG/PUBG Mobile India.”
The ministry did not respond to additional queries in the RTI application–via MediaNama–including whether Krafton Inc. or PUBG Corporation had sought permission for a re-launch of PUBG Mobile or PUBG Mobile India and the list of conditions before either company to in order to approve the application(s).
PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite were blocked/banned in India in September for allegedly engaging in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. The main concern with these Chinese-origin mobile apps/games seemed to be the collection of user data and the unauthorized sending of this data to locations outside of India.
Since then, PUBG Corporation has ended all publishing ties with Shenzhen-based Tencent Games in India, announced a new version of the game-PUBG Mobile India-created specifically for the Indian market with a virtual simulation training ground, clothed characters, and green hit effects to reflect its virtual nature, while also trying to address concerns around user data by inking a global partnership with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. All that in addition to investments worth $100 million to “cultivate the local video game, esports, entertainment, and IT industries” by parent firm Krafton and setting up an India subsidiary to “enhance communications and services with players.”
PUBG India Private Limited became a registered company in India last month after receiving necessary approval from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The development raised speculation that PUBG Mobile was a step closer to a possible relaunch in India. There may be some more time before that happens though.