The central government on September 2 banned 118 more Chinese mobile applications, including popular mobile game PlayerUnknown's Battleground aka PUBG.
This is seen as a major setback for online gamers in India as PUBG was among the most preferred gaming applications in the country especially on mobile phones.
While India is far behind when it comes to gaming on PC and console, it is among the top five nations when it comes to mobile gaming.
According to a POKTT report, a leading mobile video advertising platform, over 222 million active gamers in India spent an average of 42 minutes playing mobile games every day over five sessions as of 2017.
And the major contribution in the mobile gaming space came from PUBG.
Reportedly as many as 50 million gamers in India play PUBG Mobile which was launched in 2018.
Plus, PUBG has 30 million daily active users, according to Tencent Games, publisher of PUBG.
PUBG is an online multiplayer game where players fight in a digital landscape until one survivor remains.
Many gamers created content on YouTube like PUBG game commentaries and tutorials to earn through monetizing their channels with advertisements.
For example, gamers like Panda with over six million subscribers on YouTube made videos on gameplay highlights. Dynamo is another gamer and content creator on PUBG who made both gaming as well streaming mainstream in India.
And when it comes to PUBG tournaments, they also attract attention of many Indians. PUBG Mobile Club Open (PMCO) Fall, which is PUBG Mobile’s one of the biggest tournaments, saw a peak of 116,000 viewers last year.
Even advertisers took note of the growing popularity of PUBG Mobile tournaments in India. From handset makers to cold drink brands, these categories have backed many PUBG Mobile games.
PUBG Mobile became so big in India that a year after its launch in the country, the game’s publisher Tencent reportedly clocked $7-8 million every month.
While the game is free, Tencent earned through in-app purchases like charging players real money for virtual clothing.
Tencent left no stone unturned to attract more Indian gamers to PUBG and had launched the Lite version to penetrate deeper in India. And according to App Annie, India forms 50 percent of the 32 million user base of PUBG Lite worldwide.