PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is temporarily blocked in Pakistan following media reports that the game is linked to suicides. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority reportedly received numerous complaints about the “serious negative impact on (the) physical and psychological health of the children” who play it. As a result, they have suspended internet access to the game, barring a high court hearing on July 9th.
PTA has received numerous complaints against PUBG wherein it is stated that the game is addictive, wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of the children. pic.twitter.com/GDJqTeuTaf
— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) July 1, 2020
Some are even calling for the game to be outright banned following a story run by Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper in June. The outlet claims that police in Lahore believe a 16-year-old boy committed suicide after failing a mission in the game. This isn’t the first time the game has been linked to detrimental addictive behaviors in players, having also been banned in places like Jordan, Iraq, Nepal, and more. The PUBG team responded to the criticism after many began demanding the game be banned in India. They promised to work with parents, educators, and governments to facilitate a healthy playing experience.
Their statement reads, “We appreciate the support and trust given to us by our PUBG MOBILE players. While we strive to deliver the best possible gaming experience to our fans, we also believe that it is extremely important for us to be a responsible member of the gaming ecosystem. To this end, we constantly work and shall continue to work with different stakeholders, including parents, educators and government bodies, and listening to their feedback on what we can do to enhance the overall PUBG MOBILE experience.”
The fate of the game in Pakistan will be decided on July 9th; in the interim, internet access to PUBG will remain suspended.