Afghanistan bans PUBG, joins India, China in gaming regulation

By Olivia Richman


Dec 18, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is getting banned in yet another country. 

The Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority announced earlier today that PUBG was banned in the country after an assessment of the battle royale’s content. This includes consulting with psychologists, civil activists, and parents, as well as with PUBG players themselves. 

“The decision was taken to block this game on a temporary basis considering social and security perspectives,” ATRA chairman Omar Mansoor Ansari said. 

Ansari added that there will be a continued investigation to find a more permanent solution. 

The Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority looked at the gaming industry as a whole after discussing PUBG. The board ended up identifying games that they believe have “negative impacts” on younger players. As has been the case with organizations in some other countries that have taken similar actions, the ATRA also took the country’s culture and religious values into consideration when deciding what games are inappropriate. 

PUBG Afghanistan ban

Afghanistan joins growing list of countries that banned PUBG

This isn’t the first country to ban PUBG. Afghanistan joins Nepal, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, and India. Jordan said PUBG had “negative effects” on players. Iraq said PUBG was harmful to society as a whole. The country even called PUBG a “potential national security threat.”

In China, PUBG was replaced with a lookalike game called Game For Peace. The game, produced by Tencent, replaced all of the violence and blood that the country deemed inappropriate in PUBG. Instead of being killed, eliminated enemies politely wave goodbye and drop loot. According to Reuters, Game for Peace is being packaged as an homage to the Chinese air force and “pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard [Chinese] airspace.”

Is PUBG still banned in India? 

India banned PUBG Mobile, claiming that the game stole users’ data. It’s still banned to this day. Tencent claims they are coming up with a new version of PUBG suitable for India, but that has yet to arrive. Despite the ban, many Indian gamers still play PUBG, including esports professionals. 


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