Two years following the ban of battle royale games, players unknown battlegrounds (PUBG), Google and Apple pulled down Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) from their respective app stores late evening on July 28, following a government order.
“On receipt of the order, following the established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson. Apple had also removed the app from its App Store.
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) is the Indian version of PUBG Mobile, exclusively for players in the country, developed and published by Krafton. Earlier, PUBG came into the line of fire for Chinese game giant Tencent backing it. The Indian government banned many Chinese apps over data security concerns in 2020.
India was concerned about players’ data being sent to Chinese servers at the time. Due to the ban PUBG was axed from both Google and Apple store in the country in 2020. However, later the game was re-released on July 2, 2021, for Android devices, and on August 18, 2021, on the Apple store with tweaks as Krafton took over and named the game BGMI.
Krafton has invested substantially in India
Earlier this month, the game developer announced that its BGMI had surpassed 100 million registered users in India. It also said that BGMI had completed one year of being the most loved game in the country. Krafton was yet to comment on the development.
“BGMI’s first year has been a resounding success, with millions of players joining to experience the game. We have brought in major tournaments, Indian-themed collaborations, and celebrated India-centric events with the community intending to curate gameplay unique to our Indian users,” Krafton CEO Changhan Kim had said in a statement.
In the past year, the game developer has invested nearly $100 million to improve India’s local video game, e-sports, and entertainment startups to build a healthy gaming startup ecosystem. Krafton also said that 2022 would see 4 pro and semi-pro tournaments (BMOC, recently concluded BMPS Season 1, BGIS Season 2 and BMPS Season 2) featuring cash prizes of INR 6 crore while giving players across India a platform to showcase their skills.
The BGMI ban has come as a shock to the gaming community, and at the same time, it has negatively impacted the share prices of Krafton Inc. The game publisher is said to hold meetings with The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to clear the air over the sudden ban.