Numerous mobile games are “violent, explicit, and addictive,” according to Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who announced a government plan to establish a center of excellence in gaming and other related areas to promote Indian ideology.
Last year, the Chinese government banned over 100 mobile applications with Chinese origins. Even though the ban was enacted in the name of national security, it appears that the goalposts are shifting, making the return of PUBG India even more unlikely. According to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, his ministry has decided to establish a gaming center to teach courses in visual effects, gaming, and animation to develop new games that promote Indian cultural ethos. The minister said the courses would begin this year at the opening ceremony of the virtual exhibition and prize announcement of the “Khel Khel Mein – A Pan Maharashtra Toy/Game/ Project Design Competition.
It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to establish a Center of Excellence in gaming and related fields in collaboration with IIT Bombay. We are well into our preparations, which will take effect when the new session begins in 2021.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to preserving and perpetuating Indian values, heritage, and cultural ethos, and is working tirelessly to ensure that our country’s children and youth are educated about our rich culture and tradition,” the minister said. “We can also use modern technology to introduce those values and put it to the best possible use,” he said. Many mobile and other gadget games, he claims, are “violent, explicit, addictive, and tend to create a complex in the minds of children.”
According to Javadekar, “One example is PUBG, but slamming those games isn’t the answer. The solution is to develop our own games and apps for the world following #MakeInIndia so that they can be adopted globally for their core values, which are an integral part of our Indian culture”.
On the other hand, the ministry appears to have declined to offer a resolution meeting with PUBG developers and distributors, instead stating that PUBG Mobile is still banned in India until further notice. Many people in the country have expressed concern that the game is too violent and, as a result, should be banned. If this logic is followed, Krafton may face a difficult time launching PUBG New State in India, or any PUBG game for that matter.
PUBG New State is a successor to the original PUBG Mobile that takes place in the future and features fictional battle gameplay such as advanced weaponry, drones, specialized character attributes, and more. While the significant power popularity of this new game in comparison to the previous PUBG Mobile is a separate discussion, it remains to be seen if the Indian government considers PUBG New State to be a separate, new game with no ties to China, and thus allows it to launch in India.