The PUBG has taken the internet and smartphone generation by storm and is making them sway to its tunes resulting in getting bad publicity among the moral police and authorities. There are much more in it to explore and make it a win-win situation for game developers, chipset and mobile makers as well as internet service providers. We took a deep dive into the world of PUBG Mobile to experience it more.
Sahil is quite anxious these days. He has been finding it difficult to cope with his ongoing board examination and crave for playing PUBG. A teen into high school spends 8 to 10 hours of a day playing PUBG. His parents are having nightmares about his board result that’s going to change Sahil’s future of going to a reputed college and picking up a desired stream.
“He stayed hooked up with his mobile during late night when we all go to sleep,” says her mother sounding nervous. This PUBG has destroyed our hopes and my son’s future, claims his father. This was the kind of narratives that keep coming to us during our research.
The eight months old Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds or the famously called PUBG is marred by controversies in India. The very recent news came from PUBG India that it will only allow a user only six hours of usage per day, though not yet confirmed by the company. Soon after this news hit the stand the PUBG Mobile India came with clarification that no such rule is in place and users can play uninterrupted game till they can.
The game has risen to popularity charts within months of its launch in India more than double of what had happened with Pokémon Go. The young students, college goers which are mostly smartphone users are among the fans of it. PUBG in India was released by Tencent Games and PUBG Corportaion as PUBG Mobile in 2018. In this format unknown players can interact, engage, execute and kill to be the winner. At least 100 players can get engaged at a time and the last player/s or team standing wins the game. Primarily, PUBG requires a good internet speed and at least a decent smartphone of more than 3GB RA M to sustain the graphic intensive game. To an estimate, PUBG Mobile has over 200 million downloads and over 30 million active users in worldwide in just 8 months. This figure excludes the number of users in China.
The most wide spread backlash of PUBG came from Gujarat where playing of it was made a punishable offence. Few districts of the Gujarat such as Rajkot, Surat, Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar and Ahmedabad have implemented this ban and had arrested or apprehended dozens of youths for playing PUBG under IPC 188. The administration had to issue notification justifying this ban on PUBG in Gujarat saying that the ban was necessary as these games were leading to violent behaviour among children and youth and that it is adversely affecting the studies and the overall behaviour, conduct and language of children. Following this ban the developers of PUBG had to issue a clarification stating; “PUBG MOBIL E is a game. It is meant merely for entertainment and should be enjoyed in a healthy and responsible manner. In consonance with our endeavor to continue promoting responsible gaming experience, we are working on the introduction of a healthy game-play system in India to promote balanced, responsible gaming, including limiting play time for under-aged players. We were thus surprised to learn that local authorities in a few cities have decided to impose a ban on playing our game. We are working to understand the legal basis of such bans, and hope we can have a constructive dialogue with relevant authorities to explain our objectives and that they withdraw the prohibition. To PUBG Mobile players, we want to assure you that we are on your side and we will try our best to find a reasonable solution.” The Mumbai High Court has sought for the State Government’s response on this matter when an 11 year old filed a PIL seeking ban on PUBG in Maharashtra.
Not only arrests the mad rush of playing PUBG has claimed lives of at least three youngsters in different parts of the country as per media reports available but, we are not confirming it. Similar incidents have also reported around the world too. We have to admit that the very basic nature of PUBG is based on violence so the ill-effects of it can’t be denied. Especially, the youths are prone to it due to the excitement and thrill it offers over other competitive games such as Asphalt and TEKKEN. But, it would be very inappropriate to just blame PUBG for these extreme or foolish steps. Any sane individual knows the right and the wrong of a technology and the after effect or ill effect of anything done out of proportion. Only PUBG could not be blamed for the behavior of an individual but, their surroundings, peers, school and colleges, parents and social media play equally into their lives. There are other tools that can be attributed for the behavioral change, not only PUBG.
This is a completely different aspect of PUBG where youngsters in group or as individual are earning million out of it. The Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation have been organizing mega gaming events across the globe in which participants beat down their opponents; team or an individual and end up winning millions of dollars. This trend has also begun in Indian too. Recently, PUBG Mobile in association Oppo Mobiles have organized a mega gaming event in Hyderabad, India in which three teams won a prize money of more than Rs 30, 00,000 lakhs each. Not only in India, there are events happening across the world with huge winning amount. Good enough to change someone’s fate and future completely.
In one of the most engaging preliminary rounds of any eSports event, PUBG MOBIL E India Series 2019 witnessed over 400,000 games played across ingame qualifiers and 3 online rounds with over 575,000 registrations from across the country. The winning team, S0UL, led by Naman Mathur A.K.A MortaL, took home a cash prize of Rs 30,00,000 along with Oppo smartphones. The event was equally supported by Government of Telangana.
Post event, General Manager, Tencent Games India, Aneesh Aravind, said, “With India Series 2019, we delivered a world class tournament partnering with Indian esports companies, which we are sure, will cultivate the industry with many more to come. The India Series garnered 35 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Sony Liv at a peak concurrent of 260,000, establishing itself into primetime entertainment category. Also, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Oppo, our title sponsor for taking the initiative to grow esports in India.”
The success and the interest of the PUBG can be verified by the fact that the India Series garnered 35 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Sony Liv at a peak concurrent of 260,000, as per Aravind. This is a win-win situation for the game developers, internet service providers, participants, organizers, social media platforms, etc. Companies such as Samsung and Oppo are quite keen in promoting the PUBG Mobile backed events and competition which is a good sign for the future and acceptability of it in a country like us.
On the tournament, Aneesh said, “We set out with the objective of making esports accessible to all segments of the PUBG MOBILE fanbase by keeping it open-to-all. After launching India Series in January, we received a massive 575,000 registrations who played 400,000 games across 4 rounds, out of which the top 80 have made it to the finals. The sheer dedication, skill and temperament of these players are commendable as they make the transition from being gamers to esports athletes.”
Truly speaking, PUBG Mobile has opened the new career avenues for the youngsters. In India where employment opportunity is becoming so scarce that gaming and online gaming could prove vital for the country’s economy and growth. Rather than investing their years of education on rhetoric education system youngsters must try their hands in becoming the champions of PUBG and represent India on to the renowned world gaming forums, events and competitions. Similarly, this new esporting domain is also going to be very crucial for game developers in India and those who want to pursue it as a career. There are numerous indigenous gaming companies and startups into this domain and the popularity of PUBG Mobile can be very encouraging for them. India has been one of the major suppliers to the gaming industry but most of them remain unaccounted. With the advent of PUBG Mobile, they can contribute into making India as a gaming hub out of China.
Similarly, the internet service providers will also have to revamp their infrastructure to cope with the growing needs of PUBG generation. The transitional shift in telecom industry can also be termed as one of the catalysts that brought a new technology such as PUBG. The next push, 5G, will have to play an important factor in popularizing PUBG and making it as an alternative career option for the youths. Mobile makers are already working on it. We have seen number of mobile makers coming up with game-centric smartphones with a special mention of PUBG into it. The increased RA M and ROM, the super clocked processor, heat reducing technologies such as Liquid Cooling in a smartphone, etc. these all are thanks to the gaming generation. No presentation of any mobile seller in this country would end without mentioning of PUBG and its compatibility on their respective smartphones. This is the craze of PUBG in India. Both, the internet service providers and the mobile makers must play hand in hand to encash this new emerging trend in the country. There are individuals who are making decent money out of it per day depending upon their skills.
Despite the controversies around PUBG is going to stay in India. Yes, we all are in favour of clear cut guidelines if the government feels so.There are numerous other gaming options available online which somewhere somehow violates rules and regulation but they are still flourishing. The online betting websites are prime examples to it. In the past too we have seen children committing stunts during the days of Shaktiman but, that wasn’t banned. It all depends upon the environment around us. If we create an atmosphere of tension and unnecessary thoughts these untoward accidents are bound to happen. Yes, overdoing anything can be harmful and destructive.
The PUBG players must also realize their social responsibilities and maintain discipline in their lives to maintain a peace of mind. They will have to balance work and play and define the time frame for both. There are competitions going live around the year for the enthusiasts to participate and win millions of amount and accolades. The ban is simply unwarranted in this scenario as we cannot judge the influence as such as it would be very premature to say the least. The Sanskari ban should not be implemented or rather forced on every aspect of today’s life such as PUBG. There’s no doubt that the pure nature of PUBG is based on violence but that doesn’t allow us to paint it in blue and black. We do watch gruesome violence on televisions but that really helps in becoming a criminal. Yet we can be influenced by anything or anyone. We have to restrain ourselves from overdoing it like anything else that can be harmful to us. PUBG Mobile holds a great future for both the developers and the youths unless they understand the ill-effects of it. Like we all say, every coin has two sides to it, PUBG too has the potential of making us more efficient, sharp, tech savvy and more than that it opens a new plethora of opportunities for employment seekers and generators. We did reach out to Tencent Games India for further quotes but, they did not respond to our mail.