BGMI is coming back to app stores in India a year after ban

A year after the ban, BGMI is coming back to the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store soon as Krafton has secured approval for relaunch in India.


Krafton said Friday that it will reintroduce the popular battle royale Battlegrounds Mobile India through Google and Apple’s app marketplaces. The South Korean company, which took over from Tencent Games after the ban on PUBG Mobile in 2020, said it has received approval from the Indian government to resume operations of BGMI and the launch will happen soon. Also Read - As BGMI returns, government outlines 3-month probation, conditions for Krafton

“We are highly grateful to the Indian authorities for allowing us to resume operations of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI). We would like to extend our gratitude to our Indian gaming community for their support and patience over the past few months,” said Sean Hyunil Sohn, chief executive officer of Krafton India, in a prepared statement. “We are committed to delivering exceptional products and services to our users in India and beyond, and we look forward to continuing our journey with you.” Also Read - Battlegrounds Mobile India may return temporarily with certain conditions: Report

What BGMI “unban” means for you and Krafton

By resuming operations, the company essentially means the Battlegrounds Mobile India apps will become available once again on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Last year, the Indian government ordered both app store owners to remove BGMI, but it never ordered the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to block access to the game. This was contrary to the ban orders imposed on the original battle royale, PUBG Mobile, in 2020 due to its linkage to China. Also Read - Krafton rolls out second update for Road to Valor: Empires as the game crosses 3.35 lakh downloads

That means that BGMI was never unavailable to play. Those who had it downloaded could still play it. However, since the game was delisted from the app marketplaces, no updates were possible. That means no new features or security patches. And because of the order Krafton, too, had stopped publishing new versions of the game, ending the only other possibility to install games using APK files. The bottom line is that game could still be played even though it lagged behind in terms of new features compared to PUBG Mobile.

The ban lift would mean you will begin receiving the feature and security updates. And if you are using a fresh device or have never previously played the game, you would be able to download BGMI on your Android and iOS devices.

For Krafton, this would mark the end of the struggle to bring back the game. The South Korean company, which owns the rights to the PUBG IP, has engaged with the Indian government through several means to keep its battle royale remain available in India. Those means included multi-dollar investments into India’s gaming industry and providing support for the ecosystem. “We would like to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to the authorities for permitting us to restart the operations of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI). KRAFTON, Inc. is a responsible South Korean organisation that abides by the law and has put in place several measures to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations. We work tirelessly to ensure that India takes the lead in this domain by embracing innovative practices in collaboration with the gaming ecosystem to support, sustain and promote its growth,” Vibhor Kukreti, Head of Government Affairs, Krafton India said.

Will anything change?

Krafton has not said anything about changes in its official statement, but a report earlier this week suggested that the company would tone down BGMI even further. That includes turning the green-coloured spill as blood replacement by default and a stringent timer that would not allow players to spend as high as 24 hours on the game. There could be more changes, but Krafton has not confirmed anything yet.

  • Published Date: May 19, 2023 10:16 AM IST
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