India blocks battle-royale game : A year after developer Krafton created the app in response to a ban on the similiar game PUBG in the South Asian market, Google has removed the popular battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India, also known as BGMI, from the Play Store in India as per a New Delhi ruling. The BGMI game has also been taken down from the local Apple App Store.
Shortly after the story’s publication, the Android-maker verified the development. A Google representative told TechCrunch, “Upon receipt of the order, in accordance with established procedure, we have notified the impacted developer and have disabled access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India.
Google removed the app from the Play Store; a source close to the situation informed TechCrunch that Krafton removed the app from the Apple App Store on Thursday night. A request for response from the iPhone manufacturer was not immediately fulfilled. A spokesman for Krafton acknowledged the delisting and stated the business was looking into it.
The revelation comes in the wake of escalating hostilities between India and China, two nuclear-armed neighbours who have been at odds particularly since fatal clashes along their shared Himalayan border in 2020. In response, India banned hundreds of China-linked apps, including PUBG and TikTok, which both claimed India as their most significant international user base.
Only Krafton’s PUBG, which had its avatar completely changed, was one of the hundreds of apps that New Delhi had banned in the nation.
In addition to promising to invest $100 million in India’s gaming industry, Krafton announced that it has severed ties with its publishing partner Tencent. In the past 1.5 years, Krafton has sponsored a number of Indian businesses, including Nodwin Gaming, Loco, Pratilipi, and Kuku FM. This week, Krafton told TechCrunch that it was on target to invest around $140 million in the nation by the end of the month.
This Monday, the South Korean-based company reported that in the year after the game’s launch, over 100 million users in India have registered for it. Battlegrounds Mobile India had over 16.5 million monthly active users in the nation, according to Sensor Tower.
Why the Indian government was instructed to restrict Battlegrounds Mobile India was unknown.
A local media report from last month claimed that a child had killed his mother while playing the game, though many have questioned the report’s veracity. This month, the study made it to the country’s parliament and quickly earned widespread appeal on social media. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s junior minister of information technology, stated last week that the matter was being looked at by law enforcement.
Chinese phone manufacturers Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo’s local offices have recently been searched by Indian authorities, who have accused them of tax evasion. China’s embassy in India expressed displeasure with Indian authorities earlier this month for conducting “frequent investigations” into the local branches of the phonemakers and cautioned that such actions “impede the improvement of [the] business environment” in India and “chill the confidence and willingness” of other foreign businesses to make investments and conduct operations in the South Asian country.
BGMI and PUBG are two distinct games, according to Krafton, who also claimed that the company had placed protections in place to deal with any misuse of its games, such as putting a time limit on usage and login authentication.
“Given how well-liked the game is, these problems are to be expected. These are exceptional situations, but we don’t know the specifics of the scam or how it was carried out. In an interview with TechCrunch earlier this week, Sean Hyunil Sohn, CEO of Krafton India, said, “We always try to ensure a safe gameplay experience for consumers.
“The government does not interfere in which apps may operate and which cannot,” he continued. They step in to address issues with privacy and digital security, and BGMI abides by all rules. PUBG and BGMI are different games, according to MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
According to Hyunil Sohn, the business was willing to contribute an additional $100 million or more to the Indian gaming industry this year.