PUBG Mobile's growth and success in India is marred by ban requests and criticisms. While its players continue to applaud the game's unmatched graphics and intense gameplay, some are raising concerns over addiction to PUBG Mobile and a negative impact on students' grades in exams. But things might have just gotten worse as a Mumbai teen committed suicide after heated arguments with his family members over a new phone to play the game.
An 18-year-old teenage boy took his life by hanging himself after his family refused to buy him a new, high-end smartphone to play PUBG Mobile, Republic World reported. While the teen's family had agreed to buy him a phone under Rs 20,000, he had demanded a costlier smartphone that costs around Rs 37,000.
According to the report, a case of accidental death has been registered and an investigation is underway.
PUBG Mobile is a free-to-play online battle royale game, where 100 players fight against one another to survive till the end. The winner or the last survivor gets rewarded with "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" message on the smartphone. During the gameplay, players are allowed to use various weapons and strategize their moves as the circle closes in on all players, who must stay in the safe zone to survive.
While PlayerUnknown's Battleground (PUBG) has been around for a while on other platforms like PC and Xbox One, it only recently made its entry into mobile and PS4. But PUBG Mobile has been a bigger hit than any other version of the platform, largely contributing towards the company's revenue.
But recent times have placed PUBG Mobile in a tough situation in India, where the game has been banned in some educational institutes, including Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and primary schools in Gujarat. Recently, Jammu & Kashmir Students body and medical doctors association urged the governor to enforce a ban on the popular game.
Adding fuel to the fire, an 11-year-old's strong-worded four-page letter requesting a ban on the PUBG Mobile has gone viral. The "appeal" is addressed to seven ministers Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ministry of Electronics and IT, and Maharashtra's education minister Vinod Tawde among others. The game's popularity among young kids even raised a concern at the recent Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0 meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 2,000 students, teachers and parents.
PM Modi's initial response to a concerned mother's query on PUBG's influence on her kid may have left the room full of students in splits, but the nation's leader addressed how important it is for parents to promote healthy technology talks with their kids.
Even while PUBG Mobile faces severe criticisms from all over the country, the game has been receiving regular updates to enhance the gameplay. The biggest update coming to the game is going to add a limited-period zombie mode in the game, which will add living dead creatures while players fight one another in the shrinking game zone. The Chinese developers of the game haven't commented on the reports of the game getting banned or its impact on mental health of its players.