India bans PUBG Mobile

The wildly popular game will no longer be accessible in the country.

Image via PUBG Corporation

India has banned PUBG Mobile in its entirety, according to multiple reports. 

The wildly popular game has been classified as “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India” by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, who also banned 118 other mobile apps along with the game.

The ban is likely due to rising tensions between China and India. PUBG Mobile is owned by Tencent, a Chinese company.

PUBG has mostly faded from popularity in the United States and other Western countries. Most battle royale players have moved on to Fortnite or Warzone.

PUBG Mobile was a massive hit in India, scoring 116 million downloads as of 2019, and was closing in on 200 million before its ban. The mobile version of PUBG was a hit in of itself worldwide, earning a staggering $1.5 billion as of late 2019. India boasted 21 percent of PUBG Mobile downloads, but China beat out India in total purchases. 

PUBG was released in 2017, and was a cultural phenomenon even in the early access stage. It wasn’t the first game in the battle royale genre, but it was the first to gain worldwide popularity, and arguably paved the way for the smash hit Fortnite, and later Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone.