PUBG Mobile loses huge market as ban goes into effect

It looks like we've reached the end of the road for PUBG Mobile in India – at least for the time being. Back in September, the Indian government banned more than 100 apps due to connections to China. Since PUBG Mobile was published in India by Tencent, a Chinese company, it was included in that ban, which left PUBG Corp scrambling to come up with a way to keep the app live in India.

It wasn't long after the Indian government handed down that order that PUBG Corp said it would cut ties with Tencent on the matter of publishing PUBG Mobile in the country. Today, Tencent announced that it is terminating all services related to PUBG Mobile in India as the ban goes into effect, leaving the game's future unclear.

Tencent announced the end of service in a rather bare message to fans on the PUBG Mobile website. "To comply with the interim order of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology dated September 2, 2020, Tencent Games will terminate all service and access for users in India to PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite (together, "PUBG Mobile") on October 30, 2020," the company said. "The rights to publish PUBG MOBILE in India will be returned to the owner of the PUBG intellectual property."

Tencent went onto say that protecting user data has "always been a top priority and we have always complied with applicable data protection laws and regulations in India," before closing out the post by thanking users for their support for PUBG Mobile in India.

So, is this the end of the line for PUBG Mobile? Not necessarily, and that bit about the rights to publish PUBG Mobile in India returning to PUBG Corp could be key. When PUBG Corp announced that it was cutting ties with Tencent, it said that it planned to "provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future."

What that means is still unclear, but it looks like PUBG Corp will attempt to self-publish the game in India to bring it in line with these new rules from the government. It makes sense that PUBG Corp would look into something like that, as India is a huge market for mobile games and could be a major source of revenue for PUBG Mobile. We'll see what happens from here, but for now at least, Indian players are bidding farewell to PUBG Mobile.