PUBG is no longer banned in Nepal

Update: Nepal's Supreme Court has issued a temporary order to halt the ban of PUBG (cheers, The Himalayan Times), which had been banned by the government on April 11. 

The court issued the order in response to a petition from a group of lawyers sent to the Prime Minister and argues that playing PUBG is a freedom protected by the constitution, and that the government needs to first prove that the ban is reasonable. In this case, the Supreme Court determined that it is not, and that maintaining the ban would infringe on people's freedom. 

Original story: Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is banned in Nepal effective today, according to a report in the Kathmandu Post. The move comes after the Nepal Metropolitan Crime Division filed a Public Interest Litigation with the Kathmandu District Court on Wednesday. A day later, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority has called for all ISPs and mobile service providers to block the game.

"We received a number of complaints from parents, schools and school associations regarding the effect of the game on children,” Metropolitan Crime Division chief Dhiraj Pratap Singh told the Kathmandu Post. “We also held discussions with psychiatrists before requesting the Kathmandu District Court for permission to ban the game.”

Singh went on to say that the move was inspired by advice from psychiatrists. "Parents and schools had complained that the game was affecting their children’s studies and making them more aggressive," he said. "When we consulted with psychiatrists, they also said that the violence in the game can make people aggressive in real life.”

According to a report in the Kathmandu Post dating from 2016, the three most popular competitive games at the time were Dota 2, Counter Strike: GO and FIFA 16. The Nepal ban follows a similar shortlived ban on PUBG Mobile in parts of India earlier this year.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.