New Delhi: The popular mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile along with the lighter version of the game have been pulled out from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India following the directive from the Indian government.

PUBG Mobile is no longer available to download for the Android and iOS users in the country.

However, the game can still be played for users who have it installed on their smartphones sans updates.

It is still unclear whether PUBG lovers will be able to use a VPN (virtual private network) and access the game like with TikTok. However, the government banned 2 VPN networks to access the Chinese short-video making app in the fresh app ban list.

PUBG was banned on an order by the Ministry of Information and Technology (MeitY), which also banned 117 other popular apps from China over national security concerns.

In June, 59 apps were banned including TikTok and another 47 apps were suspended in July.

The PUBG game, which has more than 600 million downloads and 50 million active players globally, has millions of users, especially young, in India.

PUBG Mobile saw a global revenue gain of $1.3 billion (roughly Rs 9,731 crore) in the first half of this year, bringing its lifetime collection to $3 billion (nearly Rs 22,457 crore) with the highest number of downloads in India which ranks at the top with 175 million installs as people stayed home owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

PUBG was not banned in India earlier as it is not entirely Chinese. The game has been created and managed by Bluehole which is a South Korean organisation.

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Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service

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