Gaming News

BGMI banned? Krafton comes out with response after game was removed

Is Battlegrounds Mobile India, better known as BGMI, banned in India? That is the question every gamer in the country is asking right now. The battle royale was removed from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store Thursday night, sending India’s gaming community into a frenzy. It was a mere delisting of the app from the Android and iOS app stores, but also a hint that a ban could be coming. Krafton, the publisher of BGMI, has not confirmed the ban, but Google has confirmed the takedown was a result of an “order.” Also Read – BGMI Ban: Reasons why Indian govt may have banned BGMI just one year after its launch

Krafton confirmed the removal of Battlegrounds Mobile India, which crossed 100 million users one year after launch, from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Here is what the company told BGR India: Also Read – Battlegrounds Mobile India removed from Google Play Store, Apple App Store following government order

“We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from [the] Google Play store and the App store and will let you know once we get specific information.” Also Read – Krafton adds a new voice pack of TeamXSpark’s Mavi to BGMI: Here’s how to get it

The South Korean company has still not confirmed a ban. But Google hinted at an order that led to the takedown. “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.

Is the BGMI ban possible?

Speculating the ban is natural considering a similar thing happened with PUBG Mobile in India back in 2020. The government, in its bid to crack down on apps with the Chinese association, banned as many as 118 apps in September 2020. PUBG Mobile was available in India through Tencent Games, the gaming division of one of China’s biggest companies, Tencent. The government’s anti-China stance continued through 2021 when it imposed a ban on additional apps.

To avoid the government’s fury, Krafton, the owner of the PUBG IP, took matters into its own hands and severed ties with Tencent. It negotiated the game’s entry into India with the government and agreed to certain conditions. Instead of PUBG Mobile, Krafton launched Battlegrounds Mobile India, a censored version of the popular battle royale. It was devoid of gore, as well as any nudity that the critics said was against the Indian culture in the former version. To address the issue of addiction, Krafton included timed sessions in BGMI, as well as an age prompt for players below 18.

For Krafton, it has agreed to the government’s conditions while making sure there is no linkage to China in Battlegrounds Mobile India. So what could have led to the delisting of the app? There are some speculations around it, and the one that is at the forefront is the recent murder case of Lucknow. A teenage boy allegedly shot his mother because she denied him to play the game. A probe is underway into the matter and it was also raised in Parliament on Thursday. However, there isn’t an order out in the public to ban the game.

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