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Indian NGO Prahar calls for ban of Tencent's Undawn

The organisation previously lobbied for the BGMI ban
Indian NGO Prahar calls for ban of Tencent's Undawn

Prahar, an Indian NGO, has called for a ban on Tencent’s new title in the Indian market, Undawn.

The NGO alleged that the game - a zombie survival shooter - contained references to the Galwan border incident. The incident in question was a border dispute between China and India, where soldiers fought hand-to-hand and with improvised weapons to avoid escalation. It’s seen as being a major source of tensions between the two countries and precipitated the banning of PUBG: Mobile and other apps with connections to Chinese companies.

Prahar alleged the game contained visually similar weapons and uniforms to what Chinese soldiers had used and worn during the incident. However, media outlet News9 have issued their own investigation into the title, which hadn’t yet been released when the NGO made their statement, and countered these claims by showing that these alleged references were not present in the game.

Trouble in India…again

Although it’s not clear to what extent the NGO’s concerns were considered by the Indian government, if at all, it does represent the continued controversy and even hearsay that surrounds games like Undawn and BGMI.

Despite not resulting in any further action so far, the incident is still indicative of a major issue for Tencent, as their investment into the country has paid big dividends, but also seen them break ties with partner Krafton, who have also seen big payoffs with BGMI proving a major hit even after a ten-month absence due to the ban, but the possibility that it or other games may be hit by legislative action.

Alternatively it may prove a benefit to local developers, with titles such as SuperGaming’s Indus already seeing interest from players even before release. However, legislative overreach is still a factor, with frustration due to lack of consultation and often vague guidelines being an issue for India’s growing games industry.

We listed Tencent as one of the top mobile game makers of 2022.