The once popular battle royale game PUBG is all set for a relaunch in India. The game, rechristened as ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India’, will be an India exclusive game and will have a period of pre-registration before the launch, the game’s publisher Krafton said in a statement on Thursday.
Battlegrounds Mobile India will launch with exclusive in-game events like outfits and features and will have its own esports ecosystem with tournaments and leagues, the company said. It did not specify when the pre-registrations or launch is scheduled to happen.
To be sure, PUBG was banned in India along with 117 other apps developed by Chinese companies in September 2020 for allegedly being a threat to India’s national security and the privacy of its citizens. The ban had come at the height of border tensions between India and China.
Following the ban, the PUBG Corporation had taken over all publishing responsibilities of the game from Tencent Games in India. PUBG Corporation is a subsidiary of Krafton Game Union, a South Korean video game company.
In November, Krafton had also signed a deal with Microsoft Azure to host its multi-platform games, including popular game PUBG, presumably in a bid to allay some of the privacy concerns.
In its announcement, Krafton made a pitch that with the new game, Indians’ data security and privacy would be its top priority and that it will work with its partners to ensure data protection at each stage.
“This will ensure privacy rights are respected, and all data collection and storage will be in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in India and for players here,” the company said in a statement.
It is not clear whether Krafton will need to seek permission from the Indian government before it makes the game available on Indian app stores. What is also not clear is just how much different the data security protocols of the new game are compared to the old game.
We have reached out to India’s IT Ministry for information on whether the company has sought its permission to launch the game and will update the post if we hear from the government.