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PUBG Corp. announces merger with Krafton Inc for PUBG Mobile data – Developments

The ban imposed on PUBG Mobile in India is a topic at its peak today, with PUBG Mobile Officials declaring the termination of all services of the game in India. After the Government of India banned the game in early September, PUBG Mobile instantly reacted to it by cutting off ties with Tencent Games, a Chinese Publisher responsible for the distribution of the game in India. And now, PUBG Corporation has announced that they will be merging the PUBG Mobile division with Krafton – The Parent Company of Bluehole who owns the PUBG Game.

Krafton will now handle PUBG Mobile and the User’s Data

In an official statement, PUBG Corporation said that they will be merging with Krafton for the PUBG Mobile division. Krafton is a South Korean Game Company that develops, publishes, and distributes games across the globe. The merger will be completed by 2nd December, and all of the user’s data and the actual PUBG Mobile game will be completely handled and managed by Krafton, for which Tencent Games was responsible before the ban.

What does this merger mean to Indian players?

When PUBG Mobile parted ways with Tencent Games, it was a ray of hope for Indian players that the game will be unbanned soon as the GOI had banned the game due to security reasons where they stated that the game poses a threat to data of Indian users. Now that Tencent Games is no longer associated with the game in India, and the data-management rights being transferred to Krafton – a South Korean company, does bring another sigh of relief for Indian PUBG Mobile players regarding the return on the game in the country. But, it’s not what it looks like.

If bringing the game back was so easy, PUBG would have done this way back as they would never want to loosen their grip on the biggest market for them around the globe – INDIA. We are still not completely sure that the game was banned by GOI only for data-security reasons as it was managed by a Chinese company. After the ban, there were several talks about the game being banned for multiple reasons, one of them being hate and violence. The PUBG Mobile game was criticized several times by Indian parents that the game was making their children irritative, lose focus in studies and even some children went out of the way for purchasing skins in the game by stealing parents’ credit cards. We are not sure if this is another official reason for the ban, as this was never stated in any official report.

PUBG Mobile kept trying to bring the game back in India, and there were reports that they were looking for an Indian company to publish the game, like Airtel and Jio. But we did not see that happening. PUBG Corporation has now resorted to merging with Krafton for publishing the game and handling the user’s data. If data mismanagement was the only problem that GOI had with the game, PUBG will be surely come back soon once the merger is completed and Krafton works closely with GOI to follow the Indian norms.

The merger is said to be done by the 2nd of December, after which Krafton will have to come up with an Indian version of PUBG Mobile that complies with the policies of the Indian IT Ministry. This is going to take a significant amount of time as legal contracts and developing a new version are massive tasks and cannot be completed overnight. One thing is for sure, PUBG Mobile will surely try to re-enter India as soon as possible.

Krafton, the South Korean company has developed and published several games in the past. The games include –

  • Player Unknown Battlegrounds – PC
  • MISTOVER – an ultimate survival game available for PC and PS4.
  • TERA – a multiplayer fantasy game.
  • Elyon – an upcoming role-playing game.

So this is not the first time that Krafton will be managing a game, they have done it the past several times and have been doing it. PUBG Mobile will be a debut for them on the Mobile platform but the South Korean Company is definitely experienced in handling and distributing games.

Can you play on the Korean Version of PUBG Mobile?

The short answer is both, Yes and No. The termination of services in India does not mean that PUBG Mobile will shut down all servers in India. The servers located in India also help players from nearby geographical locations in matchmaking. Players from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, and many such countries play on the Asian servers, which are located across India to provide good latency to global players. We are not aware of techniques that will be used by PUBG to stop players in India from accessing the game. If PUBG decides to only see the Region Tag of individual player IDs, users with the region to set to India will be restricted from the game. If the region is changed, or a user plays the Korean version where a completely new Korean ID is created, the game can still be played at a 20ms ping as the servers will remain operational for users from neighboring countries.

As of now, the game is slowly becoming inaccessible to players using the Global Version. The Korean Version however remains unaffected as this version was never officially launched in India and is not a part of the list of banned apps in India. If PUBG decides to geo-block Indian IP addresses, then the game will be inaccessible from the Korean Version too. Again, we are still not sure what exact steps will be taken by PUBG to terminate the services of Indian Players.

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