The High Court has rejected a plea by the Singapore-based developer of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) to unblock the multiplayer online game in Bangladesh.
The previous order blocking PUBG, Garena Free Fire and other games deemed “dangerous” will remain in place until the next order, lawyers said after the dismissal of the petition by Proxima Beta on Wednesday, reports bdnews24.com.
Besides the order to block the games for three months on Aug 16 last year, the High Court, responding to a writ petition, issued a rule asking why video-sharing and streaming platforms such as TikTok and Likee should not be banned.
The rule also asked why a high-level committee should not be formed to oversee and review such games and video streaming services and why it should not order the creation of a policy on such matters.
The ban was later extended by one year and Proxima Beta became a party to the case, challenging the previous order.
Sameer Sattar, who stood for Proxima, said at the hearing that the ban was damaging its image globally. Citing a UNICEF report, he argued that playing PUBG does not harm children.
Humayun Kabir Pallab, the lawyer for the writ petitioner Law and Life Foundation, said the panel of Justice Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Khizir Hayat dismissed Proxima’s plea in the interests of the people.
“It [PUBG] doesn’t fit in Bangladesh’s context. Unlike India and other countries, we don’t have the mechanism to control such games.
“Moreover, the Singaporean company doesn’t have an office or permission in Bangladesh. They are taking away tens of millions of takas by operating business illegally.
“These games are training children in violence and hampering their study.”