BGMI unbanned: Battlegrounds Mobile India will return soon, developer Krafton confirms
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), an updated version of PUBG Mobile specifically for the Indian market, will soon be back in the country. Its developer and South Korea-based Grafton said in a release, “The company is very grateful to the Indian authorities for allowing us to resume operations.” PGMI was removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store last year due to security concerns. Its previous iteration, PUBG Mobile, was banned in India due to the same security issues and links to China.
Grafton confirmed the return of BGMI days after the company indicated ongoing negotiations with Indian authorities. India Today reported that Tech is working with the authorities to get the game back.
The new report says Grafton must meet certain conditions laid down by the government for BGMI to return full-time. The company has reportedly been asked to deliver the game with a time limit of 90 days (three months) every day. This is likely to prevent children from becoming addicted to the game in particular. Last year, authorities were concerned about children’s mental health after a teenager killed her mother after being prevented from playing at a PGMI.
Officials also reportedly told Grafton to change the animation to show the absence of blood. In the previous iteration of BGMI, Crofton changed the color of blood to green, making the violence appear less intense. Krafton did not clarify whether BGMI will be available to users for a certain period of time each day. The release states that the battle royale-style game will be available for download soon.
Like PUBG, BGMI gained huge popularity in India despite its limited time availability. The title amassed 100 million users a year after its launch. Grafton notes, “BGMI made history as the first esports event to be televised on mainstream television, attracting 24 million concurrent viewers and 200 million total viewers.”
Despite BGMI’s earlier ban, Crofton continued its efforts to expand the company’s footprint in India. In April, Crofton-run independent studio Rising Wings launched Defense Derby in India, a completely different battle royale-style PGMI. Before that, the company launched Road to Valor Empires, which developed TreMotion and Callisto Protocol for PCs.
Battle royale style games are still popular in India. After PGMI was banned, players turned to Call of Duty, a very popular PC title. Karena Free Fire is another popular title, but it is no longer available to play.