PUBG Mobile ban in India: here’s why you can still play PUBG on your computer

Highlights
  • PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite are developed by China’s Tencent Games
  • The PC and console versions of PUBG are developed and published by South Korean company Bluehole
  • However, Tencent reportedly has a 10 percent stake in Bluehole

PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite apps have been banned in India by the government over security concerns they pose. These are on a list of 118 Chinese apps that were banned, the third time this has happened in the last few months. It should be noted, however, that while PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite have been banned, you can still play the game while sitting in India, without a VPN. All you need for that is a desktop computer/ laptop or a gaming console like Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

The PUBG ban in India applies only to the mobile version of the game, affecting both the main mobile app as well as its Lite version. Both the apps are published by Tencent Games, a subsidiary of Chinese giant Tencent. However, the game PUBG itself has been developed by PUBG Corporation, a part of South Korean video game company Bluehole. In fact, PUBG was first launched for PCs (in 2017) – it was only a year later that Tencent released PUBG Mobile internationally. This means Tencent’s involvement is limited to just the two mobile apps, while the PC and console versions are handled entirely without any Tencent involvement. It should be noted, however, that Tencent reportedly has a 10 percent stake in Bluehole.

PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, of course, have been crucial in the game’s explosive growth, especially in mobile-first markets such as India. Nonetheless, the mobile versions do not have the same features as the desktop version, which has much better graphics and more detailed game design and is considered a more refined version of the game.

With the PUBG Mobile ban in India, there is a huge vacuum to fill in the market. While Call of Duty Mobile and Fortnite (not on Google Play Store anymore but can still be downloaded from Epic Games store) the frontrunners to fill this gap, this is an opportunity for Indian developers to shine.