The Indian government recently banned the country’s most popular mobile game, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), leaving more than 100 million players idle.
The ban came as a shock to everyone considering there was no official announcement from developer Krafton or the Indian government. It’s just removed from the Apple App and Google Play Store.
According to reports Nikopartners, the ban was imposed by the MeitY branch of the Indian government, which issued a ban on more than 300 mobile apps in 2020. Most of these apps are based in China and have been banned due to national security concerns over data privacy. The report also revealed that BMGI and another game recently banned in India, Garena Free Fire, “accounted for more than 95% of total mobile battle royale game spending in 2021 and the first half of 2022.” Krafton also issued a statement on Twitter through Rushindra Sinha, founder of esports organization Global Esports.
This isn’t the first time Krafton’s video games have been banned in India. Back in 2020, PUBG Mobile was the most popular mobile game in the country. However, it was banned by the Indian government, accusing the developer of providing data to its partner Chinese developer Tencent. However, to ensure Krafton didn’t lose out in one of its biggest markets, it severed ties with Tencent and relaunched the game, titled Battlegrounds Mobile India, before it was cleared to launch in 2021.
Nonetheless, a report published in 2021 suggests that BGMI data from Android users is being sent to its servers in China. Several Indian officials have raised concerns about the situation and have called for the game to be banned.Kafton solved the problem and even solved the problem With the update, the game is still banned in the country.
However, Krafton still has “New State Mobile” (renamed from PUBG: New State) in India. It seems that it is not on the radar of the Indian government yet, but there is also no discussion around the BGMI ecosystem moving to New State Mobile.
If anything, the ban just creates a huge hurdle for the growth of esports in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The community remains optimistic about overturning the ban, but given the track record, this is highly unlikely.
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