Image Courtesy: Inside Sports
According to TechCrunch, the massively popular battle royale game PUBG Mobile will return to India after being banned in September 2020. The app is now available in early access on Google Play under a new name, Battlegrounds Mobile India, and with certain game-specific modifications, such as green blood and a new account structure.
PUBG Mobile, along with hundreds of other applications, was first prohibited due to ties to Chinese corporations – in this game’s instance, big video game investor Tencent. At the time of the suspension, PUBG Studio (owned by the bigger South Korean firm Krafton) stated that it will relaunch in the region with additional features tailored to Indian players, such as the colour change to blood and framing the game expressly as a “virtual simulation training field.”
Beyond changed bodily fluids — part of a long tradition of limiting images of violence in games — and warnings that the game isn’t real, Battlegrounds appears to be the same as PUBG Mobile, according to TechCrunch. There appears to be a method for quickly transferring your account from the previous game to the new one.
The truly significant changes may be less obvious. The Indian government’s main rationale for the ban was that it was concerned about where users’ data was sent, and that it was not happy with such data being sent to countries outside of India.
PUBG Studio stated ahead of its scheduled relaunch that it was breaking connections with Tencent in India and shifting the game’s hosting to Microsoft Azure data centers in the nation, which may have resolved the issue long before any green blood did.