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PUBG is renaming itself (again) in a bid to get past its ban in India

PUBG Mobile's developer is trying hard to tap back into the Indian user base they lost to Indo–Chinese border skirmishes last year. After initially renaming the hit game to PUBG Mobile India, and promising a relaunch that never materialised, Krafton, the South Korean company that owns the PUBG brand, has now renamed the game as "Battlegrounds Mobile India". PUBG stands for "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" in the first place, so all this rebranding practically does is distance the game from the version that was banned by the government last year. "The game will be available to play only in India," Krafton, which owns the IP for PUBG, said in a press release. PUBG Mobile's publishing used to be done by China-based Tencent in India, which is probably why the game was banned, while its PC and console versions, published by Krafton itself, were spared. PUBG of Theseus Can PUBG really come back? To answer that question, it may be useful to study the Ship of Theseus problem: if a ship's planks are replaced one by one, until none of the original planks remain, is it still the same ship? In the case of PUBG Mobile and Krafton: if a game's publisher, name, and content are changed (let's not forget that during the first attempted rebranding of the game, Krafton committed to censor content classified as 'gore'), is it the same game? That is a philosophical question that Google and Apple, which are behind the iOS's App Store and Play Store, have to…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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