After PUBG Mobile was banned in India last year over data privacy concerns, Krafton confirmed earlier this month that the game is coming back under a different name, Battlegrounds Mobile India. While fans have been rejoicing at this development, it appears that Krafton still fears that its upcoming Indian variant could be banned, according to a report by IGN India.
The report claims that several content creators have revealed that the company has given them some guidelines on how to refer to Battlegrounds Mobile India on a public platform. Krafton reportedly sent content creators a WhatsApp message that “suggests” that the creators should refrain from using the phrase PUBG Mobile in their content because the company doesn’t want its upcoming game to be banned again.
“We would recommend using worlds like Battlegrounds Mobile India, Korean game, Indian version in your content,” the WhatsApp message reads.
It’s not surprising to see Krafton attempt to distance itself from PUBG Mobile in India. The game has been developed and published by the Chinese company Tencent. Last year, India’s ministry of electronics and IT banned over 150 “Chinese apps,” including PUBG Mobile, after tensions across the border between the two Asian countries escalated. The apps were banned for data privacy reasons with the Indian ministry of electronics and IT alleging that they were “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state and public order.” PUBG Mobile has also faced criticism in the country in the past for its “addictive and violent nature.”
The report also claims that when Tencent’s PUBG Mobile was available in the country, employees of the company frequently intimidated content creators. They allegedly threatened creators that their channels could be taken down with a “single phone call to YouTube.” The company reportedly did this to ensure that hacks or game exploits aren’t made public. Even though Krafton has taken over with Battlegrounds Mobile India, creators fear that this could still happen.
“Sure, Krafton is a different company, but only in name,” a creator told IGN India. “All the employees I talk to are the same people I spoke to when Tencent managed the game.”
IGN has reported that all content creators it has spoken to have said that they’ll comply with Krafton’s guidelines. Dot Esports wasn’t independently able to verify the WhatsApp message.
A release date for Battlegrounds Mobile India hasn’t been revealed. Pre-registrations for the game are set to begin on May 18 in the Google Play Store, though.