3 reasons why PUBG Mobile is banned in India

Jan 23

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile was made by the Chinese company Tencent, which owns LightSpeed & Quantum Studio. It was released in March 2018 as one of the most popular games on the Indian gaming market. It quickly dominated the market, outnumbering rival battle royale games such as Garena Free Fire and Rules of Survival in terms of player count.

Although the game gained praise from its fans and is still considered one of the top battle royale games, the local authorities were concerned about the game's methods of commercialization and the location of user data storage. All user information was stored on a server in China due to the location of the creators. Along with 117 other Chinese applications, the game was consequently prohibited on September 2, 2020.

The ban on PUBG Mobile in India is mostly due to the following three factors:

  1. Concerns Regarding National Security

Concerns about user data privacy are one of the primary reasons for the ban of PUBG Mobile in India. The game's servers are based in China, and it was thought that user data was being stolen and transported.

In a press release about the ban, the Central Government said, "The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received many complaints from different sources, including several reports that certain mobile apps for Android and iOS are being used to steal data from users and send it secretly to servers outside of India."

"The collection of these data, its mining and profiling by groups adverse to India's national security and defence, which ultimately threatens India's sovereignty and integrity, is a matter of grave and immediate concern requiring emergency actions," the press release continued.

Section 69A of the Information Technology Act of 2000 prohibited the game.

2. Addiction-inducing in-app purchases among children

In-app or in-game purchases are a significant revenue stream for free-to-play games like PUBG Mobile. Although PUBG Mobile was not the only game with this kind of revenue, it did incorporate Gacha mechanisms.

The Gacha mechanic in a video game is also known as a pull method, in which players have the chance to receive a prize from an assortment of options. This is also referred to as a young player's introduction to gambling, which can progress to an addiction as they grow older.

Importantly, in-app purchases in PUBG Mobile were typically made in a manner that implicitly encouraged the following one. The purchase would yield variable in-game currency required to purchase a specific item. This made the gamers believe that they needed currency to play the game in its entirety, which prompted them to make an additional purchase. This technique is employed not only by PUBG Mobile but also by the vast majority of recent free-to-play games.

3. Young people committing thefts and violent activities as a result of the game

Due to PUBG Mobile's increasing popularity in the Indian gaming industry, a number of children were playing the game together and comparing their game statistics. The game offered a new means for children to display their skills.

Some of the children were able to purchase in-game cosmetics, while others were unable to do so. Many children stole money from their parents after saw their peers purchase in-game products.

Multiple cases of children stealing money from their parents began to emerge from various regions of the country. People even began placing wagers while challenging one another to a round of PUBG Mobile.

In extreme situations, physical harm and death were also a result of parents attempting to prevent their children from playing the game. While the game was banned, a similar game called Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was released exclusively for the Indian market. However, it was later banned after it was discovered to be a similar game, which led to the emergence of similar incidents that prompted the Indian government to ban PUBG Mobile.

Do you believe a ban is an effective way to eliminate these effects? Please leave a comment down below!

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