Popular battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) has been pulled from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. This move follows a government order requiring the companies to remove access to the app.
Krafton And Google Issue Statements Regarding BGMI Ban
BGMI developer Krafton said, “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from Google Play and will let you know once we get specific information.” Meanwhile, Google clarified that the app was removed from the Play Store due to government orders. The search giant noted in its statement, “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.”
BGMI: Roots In PUBG Mobile
BGMI is a PUBG Mobile spin-off which was developed specifically for India. The game was born following India’s ban on PUBG Mobile due to its association with Chinese company Tencent. For those in the dark, PUBG Mobile is a battle royale game developed by LightSpeed & Quantum Studio, which is a division of Tencent Games. Back in September 2020, India had banned around 267 Chinese apps on the grounds that they posed a threat to the “security of the country.”
Media Speculation On BGMI Ban
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Various media outlets speculate that the BGMI ban could be a reaction to a recent incident of a child purportedly killing his mother due to a disagreement over the game. It was reported that a 16-year-old boy from UP allegedly shot his mother because she didn’t allow him to play “online games like PUBG.”
The incident caught public attention and eventually made its way to the parliament this month. Last week, India’s Junior IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar stated that LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies) were investigating the matter. “But, the PUBG gaming app was blocked by MeitY in the year 2020 and the PUBG game is not available in India since then,” Chandrasekhar added.
The Hindu states that Chandrasekhar had seen reports and grievances noting that apps banned in India were resurfacing as rebranded titles with similar-sounding names. A full list of such apps has been forwarded to the home ministry for examination.
BGMI Gone For Good?
Currently, BGMI is no longer available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India. Since the game has been delisted, users in the country will not be able to download the game. However, those who already have the game on their phones can still play it, at least for now.
Meanwhile, if you’re missing BGMI, you can try out Krafton’s PUBG New State, which is touted as an improved version of PUBG mobile. Alternatively, you can also check out games such as Call of Duty: Mobile, Battlelands Royale, and many other battle royale titles.