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Sunday, August 09, 2020

Is PUBG Mobile a Chinese app?

Is PUBG Mobile a Chinese app? Some say it is, some deny. We explain it all right here with the facts.

Written by Karanveer Singh Arora | New Delhi | Updated: July 31, 2020 2:59:18 pm
PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile India ban, PUBG Mobile China, Why is PUBG Mobile not banned, Will PUBG Mobile be banned, PUBG Mobile banned in India, PUBG Mobile not Chinese, Tencent Games, PUBG, PUBG Corporation Is PUBG Mobile Chinese? Who owns the game? Should it be banned? Here are the answers. (Express Photo: Karanveer Singh Arora)

PUBG Mobile is one of the most popular mobile games among the young generation in India. However, it is reported that the game might soon lose its largest audience in the country. According to various media reports, the government of India is looking to ban around 275 more Chinese owned apps, including PUBG Mobile for potential user privacy violations and national security threats.

To recall, the government recently banned 59 Chinese-owned apps, which included TikTok, SHAREit, UC Browser and more. The apps currently believed to be under the scanner include PUBG Mobile, AliExpress, Ludo World and more. The officials are yet to reveal details on ban of these 200+ Chinese apps.

All of that said why didn’t the government ban PUBG Mobile beforehand alongside TikTok? Is PUBG actually a Chinese app? Who owns the game? These are a few questions racing through our minds right now, we answer them all here.

What is PUBG Mobile?

PUBG is a battle royale game developed by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole. The game is available on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Mobile. The game was created by Brendan Greene (PlayerUnknown) and released back in 2017.

PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile India ban, PUBG Mobile China, Why is PUBG Mobile not banned, Will PUBG Mobile be banned, PUBG Mobile banned in India, PUBG Mobile not Chinese, Tencent Games, PUBG, PUBG Corporation After becoming extremely popular on the PC side, Tencent Games and the PUBG Corporation partnered up to release a mobile version of the game for Android and iOS in 2018. (Express Photo)

The game starts with 100 players jumping onto an abandoned island and turning it into a battlefield. The last player left standing wins the match and gets the metaphorical ‘Chicken Dinner’. The game is quite fast-paced with the safe zone collapsing and wild elements like the Red Zone. It is the game that is credited with popularizing the battle royale genre of gaming.

Also Read: Five PUBG Mobile alternatives you can try

After becoming extremely popular on the PC side, Tencent Games and the PUBG Corporation partnered up to release a mobile version of the game for Android and iOS in 2018. The Mobile version was an instant hit and garnered over 600 million times since launch.

Why wasn’t PUBG Mobile banned with TikTok?

Honestly, there is no answer to this question. the government of India did not reveal the individual reasons as to why an app was banned, or why a certain few were not touched. However, by what we can speculate, we think that the app was not banned as it was not completely Chinese. Since the original PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was developed by Bluehole, which is located in South Korea, and Tencent Games have partnered with them to launch the mobile version of the game, this makes the game to not completely be controlled by a Chinese firm.

PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile India ban, PUBG Mobile China, Why is PUBG Mobile not banned, Will PUBG Mobile be banned, PUBG Mobile banned in India, PUBG Mobile not Chinese, Tencent Games, PUBG, PUBG Corporation Tencent has the second-largest stake in Bluehole, the company that owns PUBG Corporation. (Image: PUBG Mobile)

Is PUBG Mobile Chinese?

Yes and No. This is a very complex answer that needs to be dealt with tact due to the current situation. PUBG is made by Bluehole Inc Tencent Games, when PUBG started getting popular took the distribution and licensing for the brand from Bluehole to circulate the game in the Chinese market. After looking at the popularity Tencent Games went a step further and partnered with Bluehole to develop a Mobile version of the game, which would be developed by Tencent mimicking the PC game, but the profits would be shared due to the licencing agreement. Two versions of PUBG Mobile were developed initially.

Also Read: How to install PUBG Mobile on smartphone without the internet

PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield was an abridged version of the original game developed by LightSpeed & Quantum Studio, the second version was PUBG: Army Attack developed by Timi Studio. Both LightSpeed & Quantum Studio and Timi Studio are owned and operated by Tencent Games. Both were free to play and available in the Chinese market only. Exhilarating Battlefield had a better response compared to Army Attack, so that was the version that launched internationally as PUBG Mobile. Timi Studio went on to develop Call of Duty: Mobile, in partnership with Activision.

Additionally, Tencent has the second-largest stake in Bluehole, the company that owns PUBG Corporation. However, keep in mind that even though it is the second largest, it’s still 1.5 per cent.

PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile India ban, PUBG Mobile China, Why is PUBG Mobile not banned, Will PUBG Mobile be banned, PUBG Mobile banned in India, PUBG Mobile not Chinese, Tencent Games, PUBG, PUBG Corporation The game became extremely popular globally, however, in developing countries like India, people using older and low spec smartphones could not play it. (Image: PUBG Mobile)

Fun fact: Due to the Chinese censorship laws, Tencent could not publish PUBG Mobile in China due to the blood and gore. And it had to re-release the game under the title, Game for Peace, eliminating all of the blood and gore.

The game became extremely popular globally, however, in developing countries like India, people using older and low spec smartphones could not play it. So Tencent Games launched a spec down version of the game with smaller maps, 60 player limit and more in 2019, called PUBG Mobile Lite.

Also Read: PUBG Mobile and Direct Relief come together to fight Covid-19 pandemic

Basically to answer the question raised above, PUBG Mobile is not a Chinese game, however, it has been coded by a Chinese company. The game mimics the PC version making all the design and gameplay be like the game developed by PUBG Corporation. However, the game has been coded by Tencent Game developers.

Should you install PUBG Mobile?

As of now, there is no official ruling stopping you from doing it. The game is quite fun and helps you connect with people. So I would say that rather than looking at the origin of the game, you should be focused on how much satisfaction it provides you and if it is worth downloading for you or not.

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