PUBG Mobile has proven to be Tencent's superpower for boosting online gaming among smartphone users and also for generating sizeable revenue. With great power comes great responsibility, so the makers of PUBG Mobile decided to respond to all the criticisms and negative press it has been receiving for the past couple of months.
PUBG Mobile's success is not without a great deal of censure. From formal appeals to ban the popular battle royale game to seeking stringent laws to control the game from exploiting students and young adults. But severe backlash haunted Tencent Games when reports of PUBG addiction linked to suicides and mental health problems.
Even as Tencent is working on new measures to foster a healthy gaming environment, another case of PUBG addiction has cast a dark shadow over the popular game in India. A 25-year-old man was so engrossed playing PUBG Mobile that he drank a bottle for acid mistaking it for water. As a result, he was taken to the hospital to undergo life-saving surgery.
"The accident took place around a month ago. He was playing PUBG in the courtyard of his house. A bottle of acid was kept nearby. Busy in the game, he accidentally drank acid mistaking it for water. His condition deteriorated and he was rushed to Nagpur by his family members," Dr Manan Gogiya, the doctor who treated the victim, told TOI.
The man, whose identity was not revealed upon the family's request, suffered from gastric outlet obstruction and lost 5-6 kgs in a matter of few days. But the doctor said the life-threatening experience couldn't sway him away from the game as he was found playing the game while in the hospital. The victim's condition has since improved and is out of danger.
But incidents like this show how video games addiction can be dangerous. PUBG developers released a new feature that imposes a digital lock on the game for minors, which can only be unlocked by a guardian. The feature is only available in India for now, and it's not clear when it'll arrive in India.
PUBG addiction cases have been reported in plenty in India alone. Over 120 cases were registered at Services for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) due to PUBG addiction in late 2018. A teen recently committed suicide when his parents refused to buy him a high-end phone to play PUBG Mobile.