- PUBG Mobile India launch is likely but there is no date to put a finger on.
- The launch of PUBG New State relies on the launch of PUBG Mobile India.
- PUBG New State is the next mobile title from the makers of PUBG.
For over four months, Indian players have been waiting for the launch of PUBG Mobile India. While that did not climax into anything, Krafton, the company behind PUBG, announced a brand new mobile title called PUBG: New State, sending these anticipating players into another frenzy. But all that excitement went in vain because both these mobile titles are not going to be easily available in India. The operative word here is 'easily' because while PUBG Mobile India is still awaiting approval from the Indian government for its release, PUBG New State will only arrive after that. So where do things stand right now?
Krafton, the owner of the PUBG IP, has expressed its optimism about the launch of the Indian version of PUBG Mobile. There are certain things that Krafton thinks will make PUBG Mobile suitable for the Indian audience while allaying the fears of the Indian government and the critics that have slammed the game for being addictive. In fact, Prakash Javadekar, union minister for information and broadcasting, at an event held recently, said PUBG is an example of a violent game. In retrospect, if you see, all games based on battle royale gaming strategy have some level of violence in them because the ultimate goal is to survive till the last stage. And several other games, including FAU-G -- which is made by the homegrown company nCore Games that has its backing from Bollywood's Akshay Kumar -- exhibit similar gameplay.
As a part of making up for what possibly led to the ban on PUBG Mobile last year, Krafton has replaced blood spill in the game with the green-hit effect, which is also something that Game for Peace -- the Chinese version of PUBG Mobile -- features for the Chinese audience. Moreover, this Indian version of PUBG Mobile will have fully-clothed avatars, replacing the naked avatars that a big fraction of players begins their match with. The game will also have screen-time measurement tools along with the ability to impose restrictions on how long PUBG Mobile India can be played. And Krafton thinks all these changes will manage to convince the Indian government.
Some previous instances, however, have shown a convoluted stance from the government. Krafton managed to get PUBG Mobile India, the Indian subsidiary of PUBG Corporation, registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in Bengaluru last year. And while this was about three months ago, a Krafton official was recently found speaking at the Indian Gaming Show and Conference 2021, an event that is organised with the support of both the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Krafton's corporate development boss Sean Hyunil Sohn said that the company "will work hard to make it (the launch of PUBG Mobile India) happen." However, Sohn did not provide a launch timeline for PUBG Mobile India.
And since there is no release date for PUBG Mobile India, the launch of PUBG New State seems far-fetched at this point, even though there is strong evidence favouring it. The website for PUBG New State has a Hindi sub-directory in its source code, alluding to a Hindi version that Krafton may enable at a later stage. This version is disabled for now and that could be because Krafton does not have immediate plans to bring PUBG New State to India. According to a report in a South Korean website, Krafton is focusing on the launch of PUBG Mobile India right now and it does not have plans for the release of PUBG New State for India yet.
As things stand, the fate of PUBG Mobile India and consequently PUBG New State lies with the government. Last year's ban made Krafton wary about the operations. PUBG Corporation, which is a unit of Krafton, severed its ties with China's Tencent Games for the publishing of PUBG Mobile in India last year. And the lesson Krafton learnt from that incident is reflected as PUBG: New State is not associated with Tencent Games or any other third-party company. But this does not seem to convince the government so far. Krafton has repeatedly said it is trying hard to bring back PUBG Mobile to India while ensuring compliance with the Indian government's directives.