PUBG Mobile is officially coming back to India, in the form of Battlegrounds Mobile India. Krafton, the South Korean game developer, made the announcement today (May 6), after being banned in the country last year.
PUBG Mobile was among 119 apps that came under the scanner because of incorrect management of user data, leading it to be purged from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. As a response, the game studio said that it will create a new game in the form of ‘PUBG Mobile India’ which will address those privacy concerns and further localise the game to better suit the country’s values.
While that didn’t really happen, Krafton brought an entirely new entity called Battlegrounds Mobile to India. It will launch in the coming days, and should soon be available for pre-registering and downloads on Android and iOS. It remains to be seen if it brings all the other changes that were promised, and how different it will be from the original version of the beloved smartphone game.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? PUBG Mobile for India
- When is it out? May or June 2021
- How much will it cost? Free, with in-app purchases
Battlegrounds Mobile India release date
The game was announced for India on May 6, after weeks of teasers and leaks. However, Krafton is yet to reveal the Battlegrounds Mobile India launch date. As per previous reports, the game should be available by the end of May or June.
How to download Battlegrounds Mobile
Before the mass-market rollout, the game will be available in a beta format for a short period. Only players in India will be able to sign up for the pre-registration — which is expected to open up in the coming weeks. We will update this piece with the Battlegrounds Mobile download links for Android and iOS as soon as they go live in India.
The official download or Battlegrounds Mobile APK have not been made available yet, so be wary of any links of packages that claim to be the game — they are probably fake. Ensure that you download the game from the respective app store or the website only.
Battlegrounds Mobile vs PUBG Mobile: what’s different
Krafton has confirmed that the new game will be compliant with the Indian laws and regulations, and will ensure data protection and security for all users. The Battlegrounds Mobile India website also clearly states what personal information it will collect and store.
As a part of its efforts towards well-being, users under the age of 18 will not be allowed to play the game for more than three hours a day. Further, in-app purchases will have a maximum daily limit of Rs 7,000. Underaged players will also be asked to provide the mobile number of their parent/guardian for verification.
PUBG Mobile India was also said to be more appropriate for younger gamers, where all players will spawn with clothes on instead of just their undergarments. Violence would also be toned down by reducing blood and red splatter in the game. We expect these to carry forward to Battlegrounds Mobile as well.
Krafton will be partnering with local entities to build an eSports ecosystem in India via a series of in-game events. There’s likely to be localization in the form of clothing and attires too.
Battlegrounds Mobile India: what we want to see
One of the most enjoyable aspects of PUBG Mobile was the choice of maps and game modes, which had something for everyone. We would like to see the same maps or similar versions be available on the Indian counterpart.
While it might be too much to expect voice commands and in-game chat to be in regional languages, it would be nice to have Battlegrounds Mobile in local languages, at least in the menus and lobby.
In its heyday, PUBG had over 50 million users in India. The players returning to Battlegrounds Mobile would hope that their saved game data, progress, unlocked rewards and outfits are carried forward.
India is predominantly a budget smartphone market, which means that the majority of users are unlikely to have a powerful mobile to play the game on. It would be nice for Battlegrounds Mobile to offers a ‘Lite mode’ of sorts to be inclusive of these players.