Team-based shooters classified under the battle royale category have grown in popularity over the years. "Fortnite," "Apex Legends," "Call of Duty: Warzone," "Spellbreak," and "PUBG" have dominated the various platforms that support these titles. However, the latter is now facing a big problem in one of its most lucrative markets due to its partnership with a Chinese publisher. As the Indian government continues its crusade against mobile apps with a Chinese origin or with any ties to Beijing, "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" developers have ended their collaboration with Tencent.
The mobile version of "PUBG" was reportedly the highest-grossing game in India last month. However, the country's government recently announced its plans to block around 118 apps that have been identified as possible threats to national security. India's heightened alert over services, software, products, or companies connected to China began after border clashes were reported in May.
PUBG Corporation, the South Korean company behind the hit battle royale game, officially confirmed its plans to part with Tencent and handle everything moving forward. Aside from "PUBG," other notable Chinese apps that are slated to be blocked are Baidu and Alipay. Data provided by AppAnnie, an analytics firm, shows the mobile game was downloaded more than 54 million times in the first half of 2020, reports CNN.
Another report furnished by analytics group Sensor Towers reveals that PUBG had $2.2 million in sales which places it at the top of India's other popular mobile games. WeChat is another popular app connected with Tencent which was also banned a few months ago. Now, the United States government is likewise considering to block the latter amid national security concerns.
"In light of recent developments, PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorise the PUBG MOBILE franchise to Tencent Games in India. Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country," indicated a statement from the developers. "As the company explores ways to provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future, it is committed to doing so by sustaining a localized and healthy gameplay environment for its fans."
To date, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued bans for approximately 200 mobile apps from China. TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, was one of the more notable ones that were restricted in India as well as in the U.S. It is currently unconfirmed if PUBG will be exempted after its latest move.