A recent LinkedIn job posting from PUBG Corporation has added fuel to the rumours of the game returning to India.
The battle royale phenomenon was among the 224 Chinese apps banned by the Indian government citing data security concerns over the information being sent to Chinese servers.
These apps as per the Indian Government, “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.”
The ban happened in September last year and since then rumours have not stopped swirling that suggest PUBG corp. may be trying to wriggle its way back into the country.
PUBG's popularity in India
Before the ban, PUBG Mobile was among the most played games in India. PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite had an estimated 50 million active players with around 13 million logging into the game daily.
The PC version of the game did not see the same popularity as it is not free to play and requires a purchase. In many ways, India was the perfect market for a game like PUBG, it released right around the time of the 4G boom in India when Reliance Jio started selling mobile plans at extremely low rates.
With the popularity of smartphones in the country and most mid-range phones being able to run the game well, it led to a surge in user numbers and had several official tournaments featuring huge money pots for the prize. PUBG also gave players tools to make the game easy to stream, wracking up views on services like Twitch and YouTube.
The ban left many of the country's top pro players without a game to play and slowed down the growth of the budding mobile e-sports scene in India. Many of the popular teams and sponsors were forced to step away as the ban hit.
What are the rumours implying?
PUBG Corp. has been ceaseless in its efforts to bring the game back to India. They even teased an all-new PUBG experience in November last year, promising an overhaul to in-game content in accordance with “local needs.”
The new experience would have overhauled the clothing system, removed the red hit effects and replace them with green while adding a new virtual simulation setting for the game to make it seem less violent. This was on top of changes that PUBG corp. were making like the ability to monitor playtime for younger players.
Since then, countless rumours have floated around about PUBG Corp. still in talks with Indian Government while trying to re-enter one of its most profitable markets in the world. The latest rumour points to a job posting on LinkedIn, which suggests that the company might be looking for an Investment and Strategy Analyst to help, “support the process and global deal flow evaluation with respect to India and MENA regions and assist global teams with the same.”
PUBG Corp. opened an official office in India last year, registering it under the name PUBG India Private Limited. It was officially registered in Bengaluru with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It now looks like the launch is imminent with the company now staffing open positions in its Indian offices.Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd that publishes Moneycontrol.com