According to sources familiar with the development, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), Korean game publisher Crafton’s rebranded version of PUBG Mobile, has been removed from both Apple and Google app stores in India following a government order.
A Crafton spokesperson said: “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and will let you know once we have specifics”.
Google confirmed that it has removed the game from its Play Store in India after informing Crafton. “Upon receipt of the order, following established procedure, we have notified the affected developer and blocked access to the app available on the Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Why was PUBG Mobile banned in India earlier?
This is the second time the game has been removed from the App Store in India after its predecessor PUBG, the popular battle royale game, was banned in the country earlier.
Tencent Games, a Chinese internet company, was publishing PUBG Mobile in India when the game was banned in the country in 2020, along with 117 other applications believed to have originated in China. for allegedly indulging in “prejudicial” activities. For the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defense of India, the security of the state and public order”.
Prior to the game’s re-launch in India in its rebranded form, Crafton’s subsidiary, PUBG Corporation, said in September 2020 that it would not authorize the PUBG Mobile franchise for Tencent Games in India, and would assume all publishing responsibilities in the country. Will handle
Right now, we don’t know the exact reason behind the removal of BGMI from Google Play store and Apple App store, but it seems that it is due to some violation.
Just last week an issue related to BGMI was raised in the Rajya Sabha and since then MPs have been discussing whether the action title has harmful effects on children. This was exposed a few days back after a report of a Lucknow boy killing his mother for not letting her play BGMI.
Looking at the current situation, it is safe to say that BGMI is not banned in India yet. If Crafton is able to successfully address the government’s concerns, perhaps the game will be back on the App Store soon.
PUBG ban and launch of BGMI
On September 2, 2020, the government blocked 118 mobile applications including PUBG, terming them prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defense of the nation. The Center banned these apps under Section 69A of the IT Act 2000.
Following the ban, Crafton’s subsidiary PUBG Corporation had said that China’s Tencent Games would no longer be authorized to distribute the PUBG Mobile franchise in India.
At the time, PUBG Corporation stated that it would assume all publishing responsibilities within India. In November, PUBG Corporation said that it is preparing to launch a new game for the Indian market.
“Developed by Crafton, the game will provide a world-class AAA multiplayer gaming experience on mobile. Battlegrounds Mobile India will release with outfits and features such as exclusive in-game events and its own e-sports ecosystem with tournaments and leagues.” Crafton said in a statement.
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Why is BGMI banned in India? Google and Krafton offer statements
Battleground Mobile India aka BGMI has been banned in India. The game was pulled from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store on Thursday. For those unaware, BGMI was launched as a new version of PUBG Mobile in the country last year.
It was later banned in India as part of the government’s initiative to remove a list of Chinese apps that were deemed a “threat to India’s security”. It looks like BGMI has now been added to that list as the game has been removed from the Android and iOS app stores in the country. But why exactly is BGMI banned in India?
Why is BGMI banned in India?
There is no clear reason behind the ban on BGMI in India, but it seems to be linked to the alleged murder on PUBG recently. According to a recent report, a 16-year-old boy shot and killed his mother in a dispute over an online game like PUBG. Indian law enforcement was investigating the incident.
Union Minister Rajiv Chandrashekhar said that PUBG was banned in India in 2020, but banned apps are reappearing in a new avatar. This was a clear reference to BGMI, which launched as a new version of PUBG Mobile, omitting the disturbing elements.