After months of anticipation by the gaming community across the nation, its finally official that PUBG’s replacement will be called Battlegrounds Mobile India. The game is developed by Krafton, the gaming studio that brought PUBG or Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. Although no release date is yet confirmed, the news has been the reason for the gaming community in India to be swept with joy.
After the ban of PUBG along with several other Chinese apps such as Tik-Tok, WeChat and more, the mobile-gaming community in India was looking for a similar game. Although India came with its own game called FAU-G to quench that thirst, the battle royale game fans were still underwhelmed. For months there were rumours that a PUBG like game would enter the Indian markets. The rumours were all the more believable when it was found out that the game development team was on a hiring spree in India.
Watch Battlegrounds Mobile India Trailer
On May 6, Krafton released a statement saying, “Battlegrounds Mobile India, a battle royale experience, will have a period of pre-registration before the launch. The game will be available to play only in India. Krafton will collaborate with partners to build an esports ecosystem while bringing in-game content regularly, starting with a series of India specific in-game events at launch, to be announced later.”
The statement is interesting as it doesn’t explicitly mention PUBG anywhere. Moreover, the statement also doesn’t explicitly confirm how and on what grounds has it taken permission from the Indian govt for its operations, given its original predecessor PUBG was banned by the Indian authorities.
However, the company in its statements says- “With privacy and data security being a top priority, Krafton will be working with partners, to ensure data protection and security, 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.”
So, it can be easily assumed that the “partners” here mean the Indian govt and other legal stakeholders that were responsible for the pull out of the PUBG game. It also goes on to show how Krafton has learnt from its mistakes and will be making sure that it appeases the Indian govt and slowly start penetrating back into the Indian gaming community.
Battle Undergrounds India- Everything we know about the game so far
So far, from the official statement, the poster and the small teaser on Twitter, it can be easily assumed that the game will be similar to PUBG with its focus on Battle Royale style of gaming. The game will be available for pre-registration after its release date is confirmed. Moreover, the statement also suggests that it will be following the footsteps of PUBG by making it free-to-play with in-app purchases for revenue generation.
The game development studio Krafton also confirmed that the game will come with a limit, meaning a player who registers on the game and isn’t more than the age of 18, will be able to play the game only for 3 hours a day. This move can be put in the place to shut all those critics up who opposed the game for being addictive for the youth.
Moreover, it was also confirmed that the gaming studio has set in-app purchase limits for the game for minors. Those who haven’t crossed the limit of 18 years will be able to spend only Rs. 7,000 on in-app purchases that are used for skins, weapons and other items that makes the gaming experience all the more enriching. This step is again taken into consideration after critics of PUBG came down hard on the game claiming that minors spend thousands of rupees on in-app purchases.
PUBG’s Ban in India
Amid the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government’s arm of Electronics and IT called MeitY put a blanket ban on PUBG Mobile, TikTok, WeChat, and several other “Chinese apps”. The MeitY’s official statement said that the game was banned because it was “engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
“This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the statement further read. But as most gamers would know, the ban did little to no good as Indian gaming community still found workarounds to continue playing the game. According to TechCrunch, PUBG’s average MAU (monthly active users) has been around 15 million in India.