Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI)--the popular game by Krafton which recently crossed 100 million users in India --- has been pulled from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the rebranded version of PUBG Mobile from Korean game publisher Krafton, has been removed from Apple and Google app stores in India following a government order, according to sources aware of the development. The development has come a month after a 16-year-old boy allegedly shot his mother because she stopped him from playing “online games like PUBG”. This issue was also raised in the ongoing session of Parliament, where the government had said the Home Ministry was examining some of the banned apps appearing with a new avatar but with same functionality.
Last week, Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy had asked if the IT Ministry was taking action against apps like PUBG where “some children have also committed crimes when they were restrained from playing the game”.
The reason it got banned was "There are various reports and grievances received in Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), conveying that apps that were blocked are appearing with new avatar by using similar sounding names or rebranded with the same functionality. All such reports and grievances have been forwarded to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the requesting agency, for examination. MeitY follows the due process as defined in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009″.And also, There was a media report that a child has killed his mother based on PUBG that he has been playing. This is a matter of investigation by LEAs to find the reason. But, the PUBG gaming app was blocked by MeitY in the year 2020 and the PUBG game is not available in India since then
This is the second time that the game has been delisted from app stores in India, with its predecessor PUBG, the popular battle royale game, being banned in the country prior to this. Tencent Games, a Chinese internet company, was publishing PUBG Mobile in India when the game got banned in the country in 2020, along with 117 other applications believed to be made by companies originating in China, for allegedly being engaged in activities which were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order
The game is extremely popular, and these issues come with the territory. We don’t know the details of the fraud and how it was committed, but these are extreme cases. We constantly work towards securing a safe gameplay experience for users,” Krafton’s India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn told TechCrunch earlier this week.
He added: “The government does not intervene in which apps can function and which cannot. They intervene in digital security and privacy concerns, and BGMI complies with all guidelines. MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) has also noted that PUBG and BGMI are different games,” he added. Hyunil Sohn said the company was open to investing an additional $100 million or more into the Indian gaming ecosystem this year.