BGMI game removed from Indian app stores after government ban
Two years after it banned PUBG, the Indian government has brought down the curtain on BGMI, the second coming of the former. Krafton's Battlegrounds Mobile India is the latest to feel the wrath of Indian authorities. The reason for the ban is unclear as of now. The popular battle-royale game was removed from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
- In what seems like a repeat of its banning spree in 2020, the Indian government has banned another game with alleged Chinese connections.
- On paper, BGMI is published by Krafton, a South Korean company. However, one doesn't need much time to realize that BGMI is a rebranded version of PUBG.
- It has seemingly been banned because it was detrimental to the behavior of children.
The government's order banning BGMI came as a surprise to many. Although no reason has been mentioned yet, it is not coincidental that the ban order came a week after Rajya Sabha discussed a local media report about a 16-year-old shooting his mother under the influence of PUBG-like games. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MoS for IT, then said that law enforcement agencies are looking into it.
Krafton recently announced that over 100 million users had signed up for BGMI since its launch a year ago. The game came under scrutiny recently after an NGO named PRAHAR wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and MeitY asking for the ban of BGMI. It alleged that the game posed a threat to sovereignty and integrity of India.
Krafton was as surprised as any to hear about the ban. A company spokesperson said, "We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from Google Play store and the App store and will let you know once we get specific information." Earlier this week, Krafton had announced that it was on track to invest $140 million in the country by next month.
Following the government ban, BGMI has been delisted from the Play Store. "On receipt of the order, following 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 said. Apple is yet to confirm anything, but the game has been removed from App Store as well.
Krafton launched BGMI in India last year after its previous game PUBG was banned by the government. For this purpose, it took over all publishing-related responsibilities of the game in India instead of franchising it to Tencent Games. Krafton has said that BGMI is not a rebranded PUBG, but recently Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar noted that banned apps/games have been reappearing in new avatars.