The ban on PUBG Mobile has put esports companies under pressure and sparked a rushed search for alternatives to the popular esports game.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile, or PUBG Mobile, has been an integral part of many esports tournaments scheduled for this year, some of which have already started. Now companies are rushing to replace it with games like Call of Duty: Mobile (COD Mobile) and Garena Free Fire to avoid having to cancel those tournaments.
“For tournament organizers, it’s more about being put on hold for the coming months,” said Abhay Sharma, founder of Gaming Monk, an Indian esports community platform.
The South Korean PUBG Corp. recently announced that she will be responsible for the game̵
Sharma said this would mean that all of PUBG Corp.’s game play and is not controlled by Tencent Games which had the right to publish and distribute PUBG Mobile in India.
“We haven’t done any major PUBG events, but I think most of them have to be canceled because legal entities have to be changed,” Sharma said. “In the meantime, COD Mobile and Free Fire are still there.” and they will ride this (ban) for the time being, “he added.
Harsh Kothari, co-founder of Neon Gaming Studio, another Indian esports company, said he had already moved an event to COD Mobile. “This is a solution that the community is choosing,” he added. While some gamers are still using VPNs to play PUBG, professional tournaments don’t opt for such solutions, several stakeholders said.
India’s PUBG Mobile ban can also affect the livelihoods of many. “It is now a huge loss for the PUBG professional players and others who make a living playing this game. Casual gamers could switch to other similar games and explore other game genres. This will give a boost to the games developed by other players in the industry. The initial drop in revenue from the PUBG ban in the games industry could be as high as 2%, “said Rajan Navani, vice chairman and general manager of JetSynthesys, a digital entertainment and technology company.
While the mobile version of PUBG doesn’t fit the description of professional esports like the console and PC do, the game is still important to the Indian esports community. Rushindra Sinha, CEO and founder of Global Esports, said there were at least 100,000 people who “viewed PUBG as a full-time career,” and over a thousand who already played the game as a full-time job.
“The ban will affect the entire ecosystem that includes players, coaches, streamers, tournament organizers, content creators and brands.” He said the prize money for tournaments in India had increased 180% year over year.
“PUBG Mobile gamers made everything out of it £30,000 to £1.5 lakh per month. The ban will hit them financially. There were five or six organizations that got a chance at this year’s PUBG Mobile Club Open and were just starting new investments and players, and the game was banned. Some teams have already stopped paying members salaries, “said Devdeep Dhar, a well-known PUBG player who goes by the name Zeref.