The Bangladesh authorities have unblocked online multiplayer game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or PUBG shortly after blocking it at the request of police following complaints by parents of adolescent players.
Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar disclosed the development on Facebook on Friday night after an officer of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Security and Crime Division, in another post in the afternoon, announced the ban.
“The PUBG users who were unhappy with the blockade will be delighted to know that it is no longer blocked,” the minister wrote.
“The game has been unblocked because the government doesn’t want to interfere in anyone’s personal freedom,” he told bdnews24.com later.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission or BTRC had blocked access to the online game in the country after police made the request to block it last week.
“We did it following complaints made by parents and different other quarters for quite some time,” the cyber security police division’s Deputy Commissioner AFM Al Kibria said in the evening.
“This game cannot be played from Bangladesh from now on,” he had added.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Najmul Islam said in a Facebook post in the afternoon that the government decision was based on the “opinions of common people”.
He also cited “different negative psychosocial and technological impacts” of the game as a reason that led to the decision.
“Different entities of society will decide about the justification of the move. There can be academic discussions... We always welcome dissent,” he added.
Later in the night, he took down the post and wrote: “PUBG is back!!”
Developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole, the game is a huge hit with adolescents in Bangladesh, bdnews24.com reported.
Police officials said parents have been complaining that their children were wasting time on the game, even overnight at times, which was impacting their study and social activities.
It is banned in China, Nepal, Indonesia, Jordan and some states of India.