The developer of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has cut ties with Tencent (TCEHY) in India in a bid to skirt a government ban on Chinese mobile apps in one of the video game’s most lucrative markets.PUBG Corporation said in a statement on Tuesday that Tencent Games in India will no longer be authorized to publish the mobile version of its PUBG franchise. The South Korean gaming company said it will take on all publishing responsibilities itself within the country, where PUBG was the biggest grossing mobile game last month.
PUBG was the top mobile game by monthly active users in India last year, according to analytics firm AppAnnie. In the first half of this year, it was downloaded more than 54 million times, analytics firm Sensor Tower told CNN Business. Last month, it generated $2.2 million in revenue, earning the most among India’s top 20 mobile games.The news will come as a blow to Tencent (TCEHY), which has already had its popular messaging app WeChat banned in India. It is also contending with a possible WeChat ban in the United States. Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment on PUBG’s announcement.India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has now banned nearly 200 mobile apps originating from China, according to Gateway House, a foreign policy think tank in Mumbai. In June it banned the short-form video app TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance.The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether PUBG’s actions will give Indian fans access to themobile version of the game again.
A week after PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite were banned in India citing threats to national security. South Korea-based PUBG Corporation has said it was working with the Government of India to resolve the issue. PUBG’s solution is to start publishing all games itself in India and not via Chinese tech major Tencent Games.
Within two days of the ban, both Google Play Store and Apple App store have removed PUBG Mobile as well as PUBG Mobile Lite. Both apps had millions of downloads in the country. “It has seen an overwhelming amount of support for the game from the country’s player base and would like to thank the community for their passion and enthusiasm,” PUBG noted.
The South Korean maker of popular mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, is looking to partner an Indian gaming firm in an attempt to resurrect its fortunes in its biggest market.
A person aware of the negotiations said a new licensing agreement is in the works with an Indian gaming firm to pass on the rights to run the PUBG Mobile game in India.
Unlike earlier, PUBG Corp. will now retain the publishing rights for the game, with the Indian partner handling the distribution