PUBG ban in India: Jio could help PUBG Mobile make a comeback

PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite games were among the apps recently banned in India.

Highlights
  • PUBG Corporation is in talks with Jio Platforms for distribution of the PUBG Mobile game in India
  • The gaming studio had recently cut its ties with Chinese giant Tencent
  • Revenue share and localisation details are reportedly being discussed between Jio and PUBG Corp

PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite games were among the most notable names among the 118 apps recently banned in India, and they’ve been delisted from Google Play Store and Apple App Store for quite some time now. South Korean-based PUBG Corporation had recently cut its ties with Chinese giant Tencent as the publisher of PUBG Mobile in India and said that it is closely working with Indian authorities; both these moves show the banned gaming apps may make a comeback soon. Now, according to a report from Business Line, PUBG Corporation is in talks with Jio Platforms for the distribution of PUBG Mobile in India. To recall, PUBG had announced a partnership with Jio in 2019 that allowed Jio users who register for PUBG Lite to get rewards for purchasing in-game merchandise, so the brands already have a history of working well together.

A source familiar cited by the publication said, “The talks are in an early stage, which began just after the government’s second round of bans. Officials from both sides are working out the contours of how to structure various aspects of the deal.” Another anonymous person cited in the report claims revenue share and localisation details are currently being discussed. “Legal experts from both sides are exploring possibilities on how revenues should be split, whether it would be 50:50 or Jio guaranteeing PUBG revenues based on a fixed number of users every month,” added source.

Considering localisation is one of the conditions mandated in the recent ban, PUBG Mobile seems to be moving in the proper direction. These comments, however, suggest that the PUBG Mobile relaunch in India may not be as immediate as fans of the game may want it to be.

PUBG Mobile has more than 175 million installs in India alone, which is a quarter of its worldwide install base. With Reliance Jio as a partner, PUBG Mobile may just circumvent the ban successfully and once again reach its millions of users.