PUBG army mourns, but says nothing bigger than country


Guwahati: In a major turn of events India on Wednesday banned more than 100 mobile applications including the hugely popular mobile gaming app PUBG, after banning 59 Chinese apps in the first round earlier this year.

The apps were banned citing concerns of data security after fresh tensions between India and China in the border area in eastern Ladakh.

And just like that, the plug was pulled on the biggest video game in India, leaving millions scrambling for the last chicken dinner — the ultimate prize the last standing gamer got at the end of this virtual combat.

In a report published Indian Express, minutes after the announcement Wednesday, Naman ‘Mortal’ Mathur — PUBG’s 24-year-old poster boy in India who has built a following of more than 6 million on YouTube, playing the battle royale game — summed up the sentiment in a tweet: “Toofan aagya hai.”

The playgrounds were emptier than usual, and Zoom tuition classes missed a few students as everybody logged into PUBG before the game vanished from mobile app stores.

Mathur was soon pacifying 80,000 viewers on a live stream, rattling off video game titles he will be migrating to. Words of mourning slipped in — “Let’s just say that all of us have lost one year of progress by this announcement…

The people who only played PUBG, only wanted to see that, will leave YouTube” — but Mathur, like other popular streamers, emphasised that “nothing is bigger than the safety of the country”.

In Wednesday’s statement, the Ministry said it had received many complaints about “misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”. This is after PUBG Mobile issued a revised privacy policy late July, stating that all collected data from India players will be stored on local servers within the country

.While PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) was launched as a computer game by South Korean company Bluehole in 2017, the mobile version was published by Chinese conglomerate Tencent a year later.

Tagging Modi and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, professional gamer Abhijeet Andhare tweeted: “Few days ago government spoke about creating more jobs in the gaming sector and now they’ve banned an app that gave countless jobs to aspiring gamers in this country. PUBG created hope for a millions of kids around the country (sic).”