BGMI Banned in India: On Thursday evening, Google and Apple pulled the popular battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India, or BGMI, out of its popularly known app platforms, which are Android’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Google has confirmed that the reason for removing the game from their platform was a government order they received. What exactly led to this order has not been disclosed as of the writing of this article.
The game BGMI was launched last year as an India-specific version of the popular battle game royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG. PUBG Mobile was banned by the Indian government nearly two years ago due to its publisher, Tencent’s closeness with the Chinese government, and irregularities in the way it handled the private data of Indian users. In short, PUBG was a major security risk.
At that time, India was one of the biggest markets for PUBG Mobile. The game’s developers, Crafton, decided to cut all ties with the game’s publishing studio, Tencent. South Korean game development company Crafton has pledged to invest $100 million in India’s gaming ecosystem.
Crafton has also backed several Indian startups over the past year and a half, including NodeWin Gaming, Loco, Pratali and Kuku FM, and is set to allocate around $140 million to the country by next month.
Google and Apple’s removal of BGMI from the Indian App Store comes as they celebrate their first anniversary. During the year, Crafton said they had over 100 million people signed up for BGMI and about 16.5 million active monthly users in India.
Krafton Statement on BGMI
Meanwhile, Crafton India has asked for some clarity on the issues that have led to the games being taken down, and the rules, if any, they have violated. Crafton’s India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn has stated that BGMI and PUBG are different games and that the firm has put in place safeguards to address any misuse of its titles, such as imposing time limits on the use of its games. login authentication etc.
The expulsion comes at a time when the Indian government is cracking down on Chinese tech corporations in India and probing them for tax fraud and improper remittance of Indian income to their joining companies in China.
Back in February 2022, an NGO, PRAHAR, urged the Indian government to block all gaming apps like PUBG, including BGMI, that had any links with China. PRAHAR suggested that BGMI be added to the list of 54 Chinese apps that were banned by the Indian government in February 2022, saying that the omission of BGMI from the list is “a clear lapse in the decision on the part of the Indian government” Exactly a year ago, in January, the NCPCR or the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights also sought clarification from the IT ministry on the same subject matter.
BGMI removed from PlayStore and AppStore
Within a short span of time, Battlegrounds Mobile India has managed to gain a lot of popularity among Indian users, as it is a special edition of PUBG Mobile specially designed for Indian gamers.
However, the game has been mired in controversy since its launch in the Indian market.
A month ago, the news of a 16-year-old child killing his mother while playing a game, as he asked her to stop playing, made the rounds, which was raised in the ongoing parliamentary session.
Questions were asked from the IT ministry on taking action against apps like PUBG, where “some children have also committed crimes when they were barred from playing the game”.
Why BGMI is banned in India
The reason behind the removal of BGMI from Google Play Store and Apple App Store is still awaited, as no reason or statement has been issued by the government.
In the last month i.e. June 2021, there was news on social media that a child has killed his mother while intoxicated with sports. The story was widely circulated and India’s junior IT minister Rajiv Chandrasekhar said last week that law enforcement agencies were investigating the matter.
BGMI and PUBG are two different games, according to Crafton, who also claimed that the company had put in place security measures to combat any misuse of their games, such as imposing time limits on access and login authentication.
Considering how much the sport is loved, these problems are inevitable. These are exceptional situations, but we do not know the specifics of the scam or how it was carried out. Sean Hyunil Sohn, the CEO, of Crafton India, said, “We always strive to ensure a safe gaming experience for the users.
BGMI Ban Official Statement
“The Indian government doesn’t interfere with which application can work and which can’t,” he continued. They take steps to address privacy and digital security issues, and BGMI abides by all regulations. According to MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), PUBG and BGMI are different games.