Google has pulled the popular battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India. Moreover, popularly known as BGMI, from Play Store in India after a New Delhi order, a year after developer Krafton launched the app. Following a ban on similar title PUBG in the South Asian market. The BGMI game has also been delisted from Apple’s App Store in the country.
About BGMI Ban in India
Soon after the publication of this story, the Android-maker confirmed that the development had occurred. According to a Google spokesperson, TechCrunch was informed that the company received the order and followed a process. “We have notified affected developers and have blocked access the app that remains on the Play Store India.”
Google removed the app from its Play Store. A person who is familiar with the matter said that Krafton had delisted the app from Apple’s App Store on Thursday evening. The iPhone-maker did not immediately respond to a request to comment. Krafton spokeswoman said that the company had acknowledged the delisting, and was looking for clarification.
At the time of writing this article, users who already have BGMI installed on their smartphones are still able to play the game. However, the company rolled out an update recently, which is worrying players over its potential ban.
This development comes after tensions between India and China, nuclear-armed neighbouring countries that have been at odds ever since deadly skirmishes near the Himalayan border in 2019. India responded to the decision by banning hundreds more apps linked to China, including TikTok and PUBG. Both of these apps had India as their largest overseas market.
Revamped Avatar of PUBG
Krafton’s PUBG, one of the many apps New Delhi banned in India, was the only one that saw a comeback — with a totally revamped avatar.
Krafton stated that it had severed all ties to Tencent, its publishing partner. As well as pledged $100 million to India’s gaming industry. Krafton, which has supported a number Indian startups, including Nodwin Gaming and Loco, Pratilipi, and Kuku FM over the past year and a half, told TechCrunch this week that it was on track for deploying approximately $140 million in India by the end of next month.
Last year, when BGMI made its return to India, the maker, Krafton, said that it severed ties with China-based Tencent and data of Indian users would be safeguarded. The company had also tied up with Microsoft for Azure to host BGMI. Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud computing service, empowering game creators to build, run, and grow their games on a global scale.
Registered 100 million people
According to the South Korean-based company, more than 100 million people had registered for the game in India within the last year. Sensor Tower reported that Battlegrounds Mobile India has more than 16.5 million active monthly users.
Why BGMI Ban In India?
It was not clear why the Indian government ordered BGMI – Battlegrounds Mobile India to be blocked.
A local media report claiming that a child killed his mother due to the game’s influence claimed last month. This report was popularized on social media and reached parliament in India this month. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s junior IT minister, stated last week that the subject was under investigation by law enforcement agencies.
Indian authorities raided the offices of Chinese smartphone manufacturers Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi in recent months. They also brought charges of tax fraud against them. China’s Embassy in India had earlier this month criticised Indian authorities for “frequent investigation” into local units of phonemakers. They warned that such actions “impede the improvement [of] the business environment in India” and “chill the confidence and willingness of foreign businesses to invest in and operate in South Asia.”
Krafton repeatedly stated that BGMI is different from PUBG. Moreover, claimed that the firm has put in place safeguards to prevent any misuse of its titles, such as login authentication. As well as a time limit for the use of its games.
— Telangana Today (@TelanganaToday) July 28, 2022
BGMI Is Very Popular Game
“The game is very popular and these issues are part of the territory. Although we don’t know all the details about the fraud or how it was committed these are extreme cases. “We work continuously towards securing safe gameplay experiences for users,” Krafton India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn said to TechCrunch this week.
He said, “The government doesn’t intervene in apps that can work and those that cannot.” They can intervene in digital security or privacy concerns. BGMI complies to all guidelines. MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), has also pointed out that PUBG and BGMI “are different games.”
Hyunil Sohn stated that the company is open to investing $100 million more in the Indian gaming industry this year.