Recently, Rajkot police arrested 10 college students for playing PUBG Mobile after a ban was imposed on the game in Gujarat. And till now, there was no word from Tencent India on how it was planning to deal with the situation. However, the parent company of PUGB Mobile has finally broken silence on the ongoing criticism and bans that the game is facing in the country. The company said in a statement:
“PUBG Mobile is a game. It is meant merely for entertainment and should be enjoyed in a healthy and responsible manner. In consonance with our endeavor to continue promoting responsible gaming experience, we are working on the introduction of a healthy gameplay system in India to promote balanced, responsible gaming, including limiting play time for under-aged players. We were thus surprised to learn that local authorities in a few cities have decided to impose a ban on playing our game.
We are working to understand the legal basis of such bans, and hope we can have a constructive dialogue with relevant authorities to explain our objectives and that they withdraw the prohibition. To PUBG Mobile players, we want to assure you that we are on your side and we will try our best to find a reasonable solution.”
We should mention that these are the first PUBG Mobile relates arrests in the country and it is worth noticing that the smartphones of the players have been seized by Rajkot police for the “purpose of investigation.” A cop who was involved in the arrest also said that the players were so engrossed in the game that they did not even notice the police coming to arrest them.
In a statement to Indian Express, Rajkot taluka police inspector VS Vanzara said, “As part of a special drive, police sub-inspector ND Damor arrested the six youths who were playing the game at tea stalls and fast-food joints outside a college on Kalavad road on Tuesday. Police checked their mobile to see if the PUBG game was running and also checked the history in their handset. We have filed six different cases against them.”
The players were then released from police custody on bail.
We should add here that a notification was reportedly sent on March 6 stating that PUBG Mobile and the MOMO Challenge were banned. The notification read, “It has come to our notice from various media that PUBG game, MOMO challenge is leading to a violent attitude among youth. The game is also having an impact on studies as well as behaviour, conduct and language of children and youth… Keeping in mind public safety security and to maintain law and order, I hereby impose a ban on playing PUBG game/MOMO challenge.”
The notification was based on directions by from the Gujarat state government.