PUBG Mobile, the hit title that was banned in India two months ago over cybersecurity concerns, is planning to return to the world's second-largest internet market, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The South Korean firm has engaged with global cloud service providers in recent weeks to store Indian user data within the country to allay New Delhi's concerns about the residency and security of user data, said one. from the sources.
The gaming giant has privately informed some high-profile streamers in the country that it hopes to resume service in India before the end of this year, the other source said. Both sources requested anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to the press. PUBG Corporation did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The company could make an announcement on its future plans for India as early as this week. It also plans to run a marketing campaign in the country during the Diwali festival next week, one of the sources said.
In recent weeks, PUBG has also engaged with several local companies, including SoftBank-backed Paytm and telecommunications giant Airtel, to explore whether they would be interested in publishing the popular mobile game in the country, an executive said. of the industry. A Paytm spokesperson declined to comment.
Chinese giant Tencent initially published PUBG Mobile apps in India. After New Delhi banned PUBG Mobile, the game company cut publishing ties with Tencent in the country.
With over 50 million monthly active users in India, PUBG Mobile was by far the most popular mobile game in the country before it was banned.
However, the return of PUBG Mobile could complicate matters for various industry players, including some who are currently creating similar games to profit from its absence and their conversations with venture capital firms about ongoing funding rounds.
It would also suggest that more than 200 other Chinese apps that India has banned in recent months could allay New Delhi's concerns by making some changes to where they store their users' data. (That was also the understanding between TikTok and Reliance when they got involved in investment opportunities earlier this year.)