As far as battle royale games go, few can match the popularity of PUBG Mobile. The shooting game has seen a lot of growth in India and around the world with users not getting enough of it.
However, things changed a lot for Indian users in mid-2022. Relations between India and China were at an all-time low and the Indian government banned all apps of Chinese origin.
This included social media giant TikTok and also – you guessed it – PUBG Mobile. This would eventually lead to a heated debate about the origin of the popular game.
Many argued that the game originally started in South Korea, meaning it was pointless to ban it in the first place. Others stated that the app was supported by China, meaning the ban was fully justified.
So what’s the actual story? It turns out that both claims are true – meaning, for once, neither side is wrong.
PUBG has roots in South Korea
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The publication of the game PUBG can be traced back to Bluehole Studio, a South Korean company. They were the holding company that both developed and published the game.
The man behind the game? Brendan Greene, an Irish-born man who got the idea of the game from a movie. Yes, he watched a Japanese movie called Battle Royale and so worked on the development of the game.
During the development of the game, Greene would test the different editions himself. The screen name he used? PlayerUnknown, which gave rise to the name PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, or PUBG for short.
Please note that this game was not yet a mobile game at the time. It was an online game intended to be played on PC and later on XBox and XBox One and PlayStation 4.
So far so good, right? No Chinese involvement until then, meaning the game can indeed trace its roots back to South Korea. After 2017, however, things got more complicated.
PUBG Mobile: how China played a role in the game
In 2017, the game was banned in China. As a result, Tencent Games, the video game publisher of Tencent Holdings, has managed to secure the distribution rights of the game in China.
They also planned to launch a mobile version of the game called PUBG Mobile. And so the link between PUBG and China can be seen.
The game was banned for a long time and is still technically unavailable to play in India. Instead, users in the country are now playing BattleGrounds Mobile India, a game developed by Krafton, the current name of Bluehole Studio.
The game is anything but the same, but since it was not a Chinese app, it could easily enter the Indian market.