Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) has mysteriously disappeared from India’s Google Play and Apple App Store. The game was launched last year after its previous iteration, PUBG Mobile, was banned by the Indian government in 2020 due to security concerns. As of this writing, PUBG New State, developed by BGMI maker Krafton, is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
The timing of the removal is not coincidental as the issue related to BGMI was recently raised in the Rajya Sabha. Lawmakers have debated whether action titles have harmful effects on children. The Upper House was hearing a media report which stated that “a child killed his mother based on the PUBG she was playing”. The incident took place in Lucknow last month.
According to PTI, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on July 22 that law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter. The minister also assured that its previous iteration, PUBG Mobile, remains banned in India from 2020 onwards.
Meanwhile, a company representative told India Today Tech, “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from Google Play and App Store and will let you know as soon as we get concrete information.”
A Google spokesperson also told India Today Tech, “After receiving the order, we informed the concerned developer as per the established process and blocked access to the app, which remained available on the Play Store in India.
At the time of writing, users who already have BGMI installed on their smartphone can still play the game. However, the company recently released an update that has players worried about its potential ban.
Last year, when BGMI returned to India, the manufacturer, Krafton, said it had severed ties with Chinese company Tencent and Indian users’ data would be protected. The company has also partnered with Microsoft for Azure to host BGMI. Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud service that enables game developers to build, run and develop their games on a global scale.
Written by Soumyarendra Barik | New Delhi |
Updated: July 29, 2022 2:22:48 AM
BGMI banned, BGMI removed, BGMI ban, Battlegrounds Mobile India banBGMI has been removed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India.
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a rebranded version of PUBG Mobile from Korean game publisher Krafton, has been removed from the Apple and Google app stores in India following a government order, according to sources aware of the development. The development comes a month after a 16-year-old boy allegedly shot dead his mother because she stopped him from playing “online games like PUBG”. The issue was also raised in the ongoing session of Parliament, where the government said that the Home Office is looking into some of the banned apps that appear with a new avatar but the same functionality.
Last week, Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy asked if the IT ministry was taking action against apps like PUBG where “some children have also committed crimes when they were prevented from playing the game”.
To this, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar replied, “There are various reports and complaints received at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) that apps that have been blocked are appearing with a new avatar using similar-sounding names. or relabeled with the same function. All such reports and complaints have been forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the requesting agency, for consideration. MeitY follows due process as defined in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking Public Access to Information) Rules, 2009″.
“There was a media report that a child killed his mother based on the PUBG she was playing. This is a matter for the LEA to investigate to determine the reason. But PUBG game app was blocked by MeitY in 2020 and since then PUBG game is not available in India,” added Chandrasekhar.
A Krafton spokesperson said: “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from Google Play and the App Store and will let you know as soon as we have specific information. Google confirmed that it had pulled the game from its Play Store in India after being informed by Krafton. “Upon receipt of the order, following the process in place, we have informed the concerned developer and blocked access to the app, which has remained available on the Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson said.
The IT ministry and Apple did not respond to an immediate request for comment.
This is the second time the game has been removed from app stores in India, with its predecessor PUBG, a popular battle royale game, previously banned in the country. Tencent Games, a Chinese internet company, was publishing PUBG Mobile in India when the game was banned in the country in 2020, along with 117 other apps believed to be made by companies originating in China, for allegedly engaging in activities that were “harmful”. to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defense of India, the security of the State and public order”.
Before relaunching the game in India in its rebranded form, PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of Krafton, said in September 2020 that it would not license Tencent Games’ PUBG Mobile franchise in India and took over all publishing duties in the country.