Ever since PUBG entered the Indian gaming market, it has captured the hearts of many gamers. It’s battle royale mode, exciting maps, and the ability to play a heavy duty game drew many Indian gamers towards it. Even casual gamers were hooked on to the game. The mobile game’s popularity soared and soon enough it dominated the Indian mobile gaming market with 50 Million total users state news reports.
However, this glorious reign ended in an unfortunate turn of events when it was banned by the government of India in September 2020. While the PC version of the game is made and owned by the South Korean company Bluehole, the mobile versions are owned by the Chinese company Tencent.
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With the game no longer available in the country, many gamers had to move on to other similar games like Call of Duty and CS:GO. India was the biggest market for PUBG and its exit from the Indian gaming scene led to a huge void that even affected the esports industry. Since PUBG was a popular esports title, many young gamers who were competing in esports tournaments like the PUBG Mobile Club Open (PMCO) were left high and dry.
This year, it was reported that viewership for PMCO 2021 Spring Split fell considerably when compared to the previous PMCO 2020 Fall Split. The main reason for this has been due to the lack of an Indian audience in the tournament. According to reports, during the 2020 Fall Split, India reached 9.87 Lakh hours watched and peaked at 87,000 viewers. This number was the highest in the event series.
Indian audiences have stopped watching the games due to the fact that the PUBG ban in the country has prevented the country’s favourite teams from participating. But while PUBG will be missed in the country, its absence has also given space for other games to grow. Soon, there will be another bigger game dominating the market. Various gaming companies with games like the homegrown FAU-G are not wasting time competing for the top spot. Although many Indian players are eagerly waiting for its return, if PUBG does not make a comeback soon there is a very real possibility that it will lose its charm and become a thing of the past.
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Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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