PUBG Mobile has remained a popular game during the global pandemic and it further managed to see steady growth in its revenues, according to Sensor Tower analysis. However, the battle royale game from Tencent Games has also received flak from different corners for its “addictive” gameplay that has taken its users to the extremes.
A new report on Thursday claimed that a teenager from Punjab spent Rs. 16 lakhs from his parents’ bank accounts to make in-app purchases on PUBG Mobile. It was added that the 17-year-old from Kharar spent his father’s life’s savings kept for medical expenses.
Citing the teen’s parents, a report by Tribune India has claimed that the teenager had access to three bank accounts that he used to upgrade his PUBG Mobile account. The teenager reportedly made in-app purchases for his teammates as well.
The report adds that the family came to learn about this from their bank statements.
It is said that the father of the minor is a government employee and has a medical history. The father, who did not wish to be named, told Tribune India that 17-year-old lived with his mother, while he was posted elsewhere. “He used her [mother’s] mobile phone to make all transactions and would delete the message regarding the amount debited from the account,” the father added.
The report further claims that the parents thought the 17-year-old was excessively using the smartphone “for online study.” Following the incident, the teenager is made to work in a repair shop, to avoid spending more time on PUBG Mobile. “I just can’t let him sit idle at home and cannot give him a mobile phone even for studying,” the father told the daily.
There have been several incidents in the past where violence was reported allegedly due to “PUBG addiction.” Gadgets 360 last year spoke to people across Delhi where many indicated that it’s unfair to call out the platform for violence-related incidence, though cautioning that a one should regularly check the time spent on the app.
Meanwhile, a report by Sensor Tower has highlighted that PUBG Mobile from Tencent saw over $226 million (roughly Rs. 1,668 crores) user spending in May. The platform has seen a massive global revenue gain in the first half of this year, bringing its lifetime collections to $3 billion (roughly Rs. 22,457 crores).
While the Punjab teen incident may shock people, it is hardly the first time a child or a teen has spent huge sums of money on a mobile game like PUBG Mobile.
Here are some previous instances when kids splurged parents’ money on video games purchases:
- This BBC story includes multiple instances of kids spending lots of money on video games. One parent claims how her son spent GBP 3160.58 (roughly Rs. 2.95 lakhs) on an iOS game called Hidden Artifacts. Another parent claimed how her son billed GBP 2,000 (roughly Rs. 1.86 lakhs) on her credit card for EA’ NBA basketball game. One teen spent GBP 1,000 (roughly Rs. 93,000) on Fortnite.
- Former NBA player Kendrick Perkins revealed earlier this year how his kids racked up $16,000 (roughly Rs. 12 lakhs) on Fortnite.
- One teen used his father’s credit card to bill $7,000 (roughly Rs. 5.2 lakhs) playing FIFA.