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By Abhishek Baxi
PUBG Mobile is coming back to India in a new avatar
by Abhishek Baxi
PUBG Corporation, the creator of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) has announced that the company will soon launch PUBG MOBILE INDIA, a new game created specifically for the Indian market.
Since its release, PUBG has sold over 70 million copies to date and achieved worldwide acclaim, but the game was banned in India earlier this year, along with several other popular apps like WeChat and TikTok. While data privacy and integrity were the stated reasons for the ban, it was widely considered as a response to the military infiltration by China’s People Liberation Army into India’s Himalayan region and the ensuing diplomatic tensions between the two nations.
The pitch of the new game is hence prioritized around the privacy and security of user data. The company plans to conduct regular audits and verifications on the storage systems holding Indian users’ personally identifiable information to reinforce security. The company will also include a feature that will place restrictions on game time to promote healthy gameplay habits for younger players. In some parts of India, there were calls to ban PUBG earlier because of its addictive gameplay that had kids hooked affecting their cognitive and mental well-being.
The in-game content too will cater to local preferences and many aspects of the game will be customized for Indian gamers, such as “the game now being set in a virtual simulation training ground, new characters automatically starting clothed, and green hit effects to reflect the virtual nature of the game.”
The South Korea-based publisher of the 2017 blockbuster battle royale video game is a subsidiary of KRAFTON, a collective of independent game development teams. PUBG Corporation will now create an Indian subsidiary for better connect with Indian users and to actively collaborate with local businesses. The Indian company will hire over 100 employees specializing in business, esports, and game development.
With its parent company, PUBG Corporation plans to make investments worth $100 million in India to develop local video game, esports, entertainment, and IT industries. The company claims that these investments will represent the largest made by a Korean company, outside of the manufacturing segment.
KRAFTON partners with Microsoft to host its products including PUBG on Azure
by Anmol Mehrotra
KRAFTON, the parent company of the popular Battle Royale game, PUBG, has announced a collaboration with Microsoft. The company noted that it will be using Microsoft's Azure cloud services to host PUBG and PUBG Mobile.
In the press release, KRAFTON said that it would include all the products directly operated by the company and its subsidiaries along with PUBG franchise. The company cited the privacy and security of the users as the reason for switching to Microsoft Azure.
KRAFTON also plans to work with Microsoft to introduce a verification process to ensure that all the personally identifiable information of players is stored in compliance with local laws and regulations.
KRAFTON did not comment on why it changed the cloud service provider but it could be that the company wants to get PUBG unbanned in India. In case you don't remember, the Government of India banned PUBG Mobile in September citing the privacy concerns and the company's partnership with Chinese conglomerate, Tencent Games. This prompted PUBG Corp. to drop Tencent Games as a publisher in a bid to get the game unbanned in India. Earlier, both Pakistan and Nepal also banned PUBG citing violent content and health concerns respectively. However, Pakistan's high court later instructed the regulatory authority to lift the ban.
Deep Rock Galactic, Celeste, LucasArts classics and more head to Xbox Game Pass
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
It has already been a busy October filled with Xbox Game Pass additions, and Microsoft is preparing even more games to drop in the next couple of weeks. Today, the company revealed a bunch more titles incoming to the Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC subscriptions, as well as several games that are receiving cloud play capabilities.
Here are the titles that were included in the announcement today, though the classic LucasArts games' arrival was already revealed a little while ago:
Carto (Console and PC) – October 27 Day of the Tentacle Remastered (Console and PC) – October 29 Five Nights at Freddy’s (PC, Console, and Android) – October 29 Full Throttle Remastered (Console and PC) – October 29 Grim Fandango Remastered (Console and PC) – October 29 PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Android) – October 29 ScourgeBringer (Android) – October 29 Unruly Heroes (PC, Console, and Android) – October 29 Celeste (PC, Console, and Android) – November 5 Comanche (PC) – November 5 Deep Rock Galactic (PC, Console, and Android) – November 5 Eastshade (PC, Console, and Android) – November 5 Knights and Bikes (Console and PC) – November 5 Ark: Survival Evolved: Explorer’s Edition (PC, Console, and Android) – November 17 For those in the dark, the Android mentions in the list are for games that are being added into the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription's cloud gaming portion. Also, as part of another separate announcement, Ubisoft's tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege arrived to the Xbox Game Pass for Console subscription last week.
As for what's scheduled to leave the services on October 30, there are six games:
Meanwhile, Microsoft recently introduced touch controls support for 10 more games available through its Game Pass Ultimate cloud gaming tier.
Indian Government says it has no intention of reversing the PUBG Mobile ban
by Anmol Mehrotra
Earlier this month, the Government of India announced a ban on 118 Chinese apps including PUBG Mobile and WeChat. The news did not sit well with PUBG Corporation who owns PUBG and uses Chinese gaming conglomerate Tencent Games to publish the game on mobile platforms. Soon after the announcement, PUBG Corporation released a statement confirming that it had dropped Tencent Games as a publisher and had taken responsibilities to publish the game in India.
Unfortunately, the move was not good enough for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). In a statement to InsideSport, MeitY said the PUBG Mobile ban will not be reversed.
InsideSport was further told by the Ministry's sources that PUBG Corporation's decision to drop Tencent Games as a publisher was not good enough to reverse the ban on the game.
PUBG Corporation, on the other hand, has been in talks with Reliance to initiate a long-term partnership to distribute PUBG Mobile in India. Unfortunately, there is no word on the possible partnership and if that will give MeitY a good enough reason to revisit the PUBG ban.
By Garg Ankit
PUBG Mobile franchise will not be authorized with Tencent Games in India anymore
by Garg Ankit
Last week, the Government of India banned 118 mobile apps with links to China, including PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite. This did not sit well with the South Korean gaming company, PUBG Corporation, who owns the intellectual property of PUBG Mobile, which is the mobile version of Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. They have now decided to "no longer authorize the PUBG Mobile franchise to China-based Tencent Games in India".
The statement goes like this:
The company thanks the Indian gaming community for their "passion and enthusiasm" towards the game, citing that the game has seen an overwhelming amount of support in the country. That being said, they fully understand and respect the government's decision, and admit that the privacy and security of player data is a top priority for them.
By taking over the publishing responsibilities of the game, PUBG Corporation hopes to "work hand-in-hand with the Indian government to find a solution", which is the corporate jargon for the expectation that the ban shall be lifted as soon as possible. We will have to wait and see what the Ministry of Information and Technology has to say about it.
It is worth noting that Nepal had banned the game last year citing violent content and parental concerns. Pakistan cited health concerns and followed suit, but was overruled by the High Court.