PUBG Planning India Comeback with Microsoft Azure Deal
The online multiplayer battle royale game, PUBG Mobile, is planning to make a comeback in India with the help of Microsoft. Announced by PUBG Corporation’s parent company, Krafton, the in-progress PUBG-Microsoft deal would not only help the game’s smooth return to India, but also promote Microsoft’s cloud computing service, Azure, viewed as a strong number two to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Published by PUBG Corporation, the game was banned in the country under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, listing security concerns. Overlooking the warnings, the PUBG-Microsoft deal is focused on bringing back the PUBG in India. In view of the announcement, the Battle Royale game PUBG would thereby be available for the players on PC and consoles as well as PUBG Mobile, alongwith personal data protection through Azure.
PUBG Mobile’s popularity became far-reaching since its release in 2017. With more than 50 million monthly active users, it became the most popular game in India, before the ban. Latest data showed that the highest number of concurrent players of the game was recorded in January 2018, at 3.24 million. While PUBG was all set to further penetrate the Indian mobile gaming sector, it got caught up in the India-China rivalry.
The PUBG ban came after the government of India banned hundreds of Chinese applications, projecting it as “in the interest of sovereignty and integrity” of the country. Since the Chinese giant, Tencent was the first publisher of PUBG Mobile apps in India, the game was banned with the concerns questioning the credibility of the content host, i.e. Tencent Cloud. A week after the Indian ban, the gaming firm cut publishing ties with Tencent in India, in high hopes of gaining the government’s trust and making a comeback.
As per the PUBG-Microsoft deal, the PUBG Mobile games would now be hosted on Microsoft Azure. Microsoft runs three data centers in India, a fact that is highly beneficial for PUBG Mobiles. Many industry players are viewing the partnership as a matter of concern, since it could devalue the success rate of the similar games built in PUBG’s absence. On the other hand, it’s great news for the Indian players who have not been able to access the game following the government’s orders.
Interestingly, PUBG has had a long history with Microsoft, which published the game on Xbox One in 2017. Amid the slew of announcements back then, the move was viewed as a key step to bring revolutionary breakthroughs in the gaming sector. Even today, the PUBG-Microsoft Deal is aimed at deepening the collaboration between the two companies, while ensuring that privacy rights and quality are also maintained across all platforms.
Other than partnering with Microsoft, PUBG Corporation is also contacting popular brand companies, such as Paytm and Airtel, for publishing the games in India. It has been planning to run a marketing campaign in the country, bringing the game to more areas and at the same time regaining lost markets.