PUBG cancels Tencent’s India franchise hoping for a comeback

BENGALURU: Following the Indian government’s ban on 118 Chinese apps last week, which included popular game PUBG Mobile, South Korea’s PUBG Corporation said it will no longer authorise Tencent Games to distribute the game in India.
Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country, the company said in a post on Tuesday, taking over from the Chinese technology giant. It added it will ‘work hand-in-hand with the Indian government to find a solution that will allow gamers to once again drop into the battlegrounds while being fully compliant with Indian laws and regulations.’ This comes amid heightened tension at the border between India and China.
PUBG Corporation’s announcement on canceling Tencent’s franchise rights for India, however, has led to questions among industry executives,investors and analysts if this will be enough to address the government’s data-related concern on Chinese apps in India. Meanwhile, since the ban last week, Tencent’s share prices have gone down by 7% (over $66) at the Hong Kong stock exchange as of Tuesday. Last Thursday, it had fallen down by 2% with share prices at around $69.
PUBG Mobile is the mobile version of PLAYER UNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG), an intellectual property owned and developed by PUBG Corporation,which is a subsidiary of South Korean firm Bluehole. Tencent holds around 10% stake in Bluehole.
“By just changing the name of the publisher, you can’t change the author of the book. Indian government should be doing proper diligence on these structures. At nCore we are focused on Indian storytelling so our concept of FAU:G is very different from PUBG” said Vishal Gondal, co-founder and investor in nCore Games, which is developing FAU:G, a game inspired Indian Army.
Early-stage venture capital investor Anand Lunia, founding partner at India Quotient, echoed Gondal. “It is not enough. Government is not asking for ownership details. They are saying why is the leak happening? The allegation is on the app, not the distributor. So, the Korean company has to answer the exact issues that have been raised,” said Lunia. He added it is unlikely the government will allow the banned apps to come back without satisfactory answers to all the questions.
PUBG Corporation did not respond to TOI’s follow up queries on the matter after it published the post. July data from Sensor Tower, which tracks app data, showed India was the largest country for PUBG Mobile downloads generating about 175 million installs or 24 percent of the total. In total, the government has now banned 224 Chinese apps, including TikTok.
“Tencent doesn’t have any alternative but to give up the rights for PUBG Mobile to Bluehole, which being a non-Chinese company will be in an advantageous position. PUBG Mobile is a strategic game that has a lot of investment going in it– starting from people paying in the game and budding esports communities depending on it. Its absence from the market would have been a massive blow for Bluehole, with Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty) and Sea (Garena Free Fire) taking up its market share. So, it’s a strategic move that Bluehole has made to operate independently in India,” said Rupantar Guha,associate project manager (research), at GlobalData, a UK-based market research firm.



[Source – Times Of India]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here