PUBG Mobile invests Rs 164 crore in Nodwin Gaming in india
Krafton Inc is the original creator of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and holds the license for PUBG Mobile. It took over the publishing rights to PUBG Mobile in India after the ban to get the game reinstated. But its attempt so far has not borne fruit.
Esports firm Nodwin Gaming has now announced that it raised Rs 164 crore of equity investment from the South Korean firm Krafton Inc. A press release from the company mentions that this investment is towards forwarding the esports ecosystem in India.
Krafton’s investment and the questions thereof
While the investment might look like a promising on the face of it, there are quite a few legitimate questions and doubts they cast in the background. Krafton has been attempting to collaborate with a local organization to get PUBG Mobile unbanned in India. To this end it approached Reliance, Airtel and Paytm before it happened to make an investment in Nodwin Gaming.
And Krafton’s current head of corporate development for India is an ex-employee of Nazara, the parent company of Nodwin. This brings up the question, if the due diligence regarding this deal was done in the first place.
Nodwin Gaming mentions that it intends to use these “funds to accelerate the development of esports”. This terminology is vague at best and does not seem to specify anything about the purpose and use of the funds that it is set to receive. According to an IGN India report this deal was apparently closed at the ongoing Indian Gaming Show and Conference 2021.
And Nodwin’s past activities, where it used pirated games at the inaugural edition of Dreamhack India and even reports of paying college kids to fill empty seats at ESL One 2019, point to a spotty reputation.
On Krafton’s part, it had initially promised a $100 million investment for esports in India. But the present deal of investing Rs 164 crores which is approximately $22.4 million. While the company has not mentioned any other investments of this nature, presently it seems to be far from the amount of investment it promised.