Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) is coming back and will be available for download soon in the country. Korean publisher Krafton has confirmed that the Indian government has allowed them to resume operations of the uber-popular battle-royale game, following its ban in July last year, owing to privacy and security concerns. The game was completely removed from both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store under Section 69 of the IT Act — in turn affecting the mobile e-sports scene in the country. BGMI is now the first app to return to India, among the hundreds of apps the government banned within the past couple of years.
“We are highly grateful to the Indian authorities for allowing us to resume operations of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). We would like to extend our gratitude to our Indian gaming community for their support and patience over the past few months,” Sean Hyunil Sohn, CEO, Krafton India said in a press release. “We are excited to announce that Battlegrounds Mobile India will be available for download soon and we cannot wait to welcome you back to our platform.” He also touched upon the remarkable milestones the game achieved in the country, surpassing 100 million users within a year of its launch in July 2021.
Following PUBG Mobile’s ban, BGMI, an India-exclusive version of the game popped into the scene, rekindling the e-sports ecosystem in the country with numerous official and unofficial events, including a broadcast on mainstream television. Dubbed the ‘Masters Series,’ the tournament was telecast live on Star Sports 2 last year, with Global Esports lifting the trophy. “Krafton is a responsible South Korean organisation that abides by the law and has put in place several measures to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations,” Vibhor Kukreti, Head Government Affairs, Krafton India said in a prepared statement. “We strongly encourage our users to prioritize their well-being and follow responsible gaming practices.”
That last sentence is worth taking into consideration since a report from News18 suggests that BGMI will be back initially for three months only — a trial period of sorts, as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) continues monitoring its activity and ensuring it doesn’t violate any rules set by the Indian government. Moreover, the game is said to be making a return with several adjustments, including a set time limit to restrict the number of hours one could play, alongside changes to the gore effects. While previously, players could change the colour of blood to blue or green via the in-game settings, the change is expected to be permanent/ default.
Back in March, MeitY also removed Dead by Daylight Mobile, the co-op survival horror game from Behaviour Interactive, from Indian mobile storefronts. No explicit reason was given, albeit one could assume it had to do with the game’s publisher NetEase, which is a Chinese firm responsible for distributing the title within Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea. As mentioned before, the government previously banned several Chinese apps over security concerns.