Invoking a government order, Google on July 28 removed the well-known battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) from the Play Store in India. The game is developed by the South Korean gaming technology company Krafton.
The BGMI app has been taken off the Apple App Store and Google Play for India without any disclaimer. The game came out last year, after India banned the previous version, PUBG Mobile, for safety reasons in 2020. The news comes just a month after a 16-year-old boy reportedly shot his mother after she forbade him from playing “online games like PUBG.” This issue was also raised during the current session of Parliament, with the government stating that the Home Ministry was looking into some of the banned apps that appeared with a new figure but with the same form and function.
It’s not a coincidence that the removal happened right after a question about BGMI was specifically mentioned in the Rajya Sabha. A Union Minister named Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on July 22 that the incident has been looked into by the authorities. The minister also guaranteed that PUBG Mobile’s previous version will continue to be prohibited in India.
The suspension follows the February 14 prohibition of competitor Garena’s battle royale game Free Fire and 53 other China-linked applications under section 69A of the Information Technology Act. According to Krafton earlier this month, the number of BGMI users in India has reportedly topped 100 million. From July 2021 to July 2022, it racked up nearly $33 million in app purchases.
Speaking on the incident A Krafton spokesperson, said,
Google confirmed that it had removed the game from its Play Store in India after being notified by Krafton, a Google spokesperson told Moneycontrol, that