Fans of battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in Nepal have just received some bad news. The South Asian country’s telecommunications authority has had PUBG banned, citing a perceived negative impact on children.
The Nepal Telecommunication Authority has directed all internet service providers, mobile operators and network service providers to block the game in the country starting this past Thursday.
Speaking to Reuters, Nepal Telecommunication Authority deputy-director Sandip Adhikari stated “we have ordered the ban on PUBG because it is addictive to children and teenagers.”
Adhikari specifically cited parents’ concerns over children being distracted from their studies and other duties. That said, no incidents related to PUBG have been reported so far.
Korean company BlueHole developed PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds under the stewardship of sub-genre pioneer Brendan “PlayerUnkown” Greene. PUBG was one of the first big battle royale titles in the market.
Recently, PUBG‘s own issues as well as competition from games such as Fortnite: Battle Royale and Apex Legends have caused it to lose its lead in the market. Despite this, PUBG remains one of the bigger titles in the genre.
Why the Nepal Telecommunication Authority specifically targeted PUBG and didn’t include these other games is unknown. It could simply be that PUBG is more popular than either Fortnite: Battle Royale or Apex Legends in Nepal.
Naturally, the PUBG ban leaves the door open for other battle royale games to take over its market share. However, this raises the question of whether or not the Nepal Telecommunication Authority will then ban other titles if they grow big enough.
More importantly, the reasoning PUBG ban does raise questions of whether or not it was justified in the first place. As deputy director Adhikari stated, no incidents related to PUBG have been reported so far. The banning of PUBG despite this lack of any incidents could possibly discourage other titles altogether, including PUBG‘s competitors from the Nepal market, depriving fans of good games.