Irrespective of the fact that one played the game or not, the every Indian knew about PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) mobile, a sensational game available on mobile and when the app got banned and removed from Playstore and Apple App Store, it was a heart-wrenching moment for subscribers.
PUBG Corp, the parent company of the game which launched the application back in February of 2018 partnered up with Tencent games to launch the game for mobile platforms in China. While over the years various versions and updates of the application were announced by Tencent Holdings and the some of which were like PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield was released globally as PUBG Mobile.
PUBHG mobile, which only launched after a month of the China launch globally, in two years, PUBG became a phenomenon with millions of active users who invested their time and money into this heavy-hitter gaming app.
UNTIL THE DECISION OF BAN WAS ANNOUNCED
From PUBG Mobile championships to co-branding opportunities for promotion like Oppo, to Bollywood stepping into the PUBG bandwagon with Vicky Kaushal, a leading Bollywood actor, playing PUBG Mobile with Soul Mortal, a leading PUBG mobile player in India, to promote his movie, Uri.
Until 2nd September 2020, when among 118 Chinese apps, PUBG was also banned by the Indian government as part of a broader military, the political and economic response against China post deadly border clashes in June.
The confrontation back in June between Indian and Chinese soldiers at the disputed border of Galwan Valley, Himalayas led to 20 martyred Indian soldiers raging a wave of hate and anger across the country.
What ensued was 59 China-backed apps getting banned in India including Tiktok. The Tiktok ban spurred a lot of buzz as many users of video making application and other Indians shared mixed emotions to the Central government’s decision when the whole nation was in Lockdown amidst the Chinese-origin Coronavirus pandemic.
RIVALS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PUB-G APP BAN
Trying to fill the void left by their favourite mobile apps, players tried their hand at similar battle royale games since it was removed from Play Store and Apple App Store with other shooting FPS games available on smartphones.
PUNG was not the only gaming platforms among the 118 apps that were banned by the government as it included alternatives like Rules of Survival, Cyber Hunter, Knives Out, and others. But, it indeed has created a massive increase in the downloads of the current alternatives available like Call of Duty Mobile, Garena Free Fire, and others as they garnered millions of downloads.
During the period between September 2 and 5, a recent report revealed that Garena Free Fire and Call of Duty Mobile and Ludo King were among the three top downloaded games on iOS and Android devices. These applications have received a massive surge in downloads during the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
DESI PUB-G & AKSHAY KUMAR BACKED FAU-G
Apart from the other alternatives, the desi alternative of Pabje which has already received 10,000 downloads while made in India trends in many other areas amidst India-China deteriorating border relations. But the application has not been able to match the stature of PUBG given the negative reviews as it is bad on graphics, gameplay, and most departments of the game.
The 95MB game, heavily PUBG inspired game has managed to attract attention as it showed up in searches when players searched for PUBG during this period. The homegrown app has got a rating of 2.2 on the Play Store and has no version of the game available on the Apple App Store.
The timing of the launch of FAU-G mobile application, an outcome of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and nCore Games partnership collaboration and the Chinese app ban has raised many eyebrows. The actor himself tweeted to support Prime Minister’s Self-reliant initiative.
The Battle Royal mobile video game FAU-G (Fearless and United: Guards) set to launch at the end of October by Bengaluru-based nCore Games. The first level of this game will have the backdrop of Galvan Valley while FAU-G means soldiers, and 20 per cent of its net revenue will be given to a government trust supporting the families of martyred soldiers, FAU-G is set to become a platform showcasing the inspiration of patriotism for the players.
Akshay Kumar, who helped in the concept of the game and suggested the name FAU-G, said in his Tweet supporting PM Narendra Modi Atmanirbhar Bharat Yojna – “For youngsters in India, gaming is becoming an important form of entertainment. With FAU-G, I’m hoping that as they play the game, they will learn about the sacrifices of our soldiers and also contribute to the families of the martyrs; and with this, each one of us can support PM Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”
PUB-G SCOUTING INDIAN PARTNER
Well, not hope is not lost for PUBG players and streamers as South Korea-based PUBG Corporation is working with the Government of India to resolve the issue by disassociating itself from Chinese corporation Tencent Games in India. The corporation cut publishing ties with Tencent Holdings after one week of the ban and will now retain the publishing rights for the game, with the Indian partner handling the distribution.