According to sources familiar of the incident, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the rebranded version of PUBG Mobile from Korean game publisher Krafton, has been taken down from both the Apple and Google app stores in India as a result of a government order.
“We are clarifying how BGMI was deleted from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store,” a Krafton spokeswoman stated. “We will let you know as we have specific information.”
After alerting Krafton, Google acknowledged removing the game from the Play Store in India. A Google representative said in a statement that “upon receipt of the order, in accordance with established procedure, we have notified the impacted developer and have restricted access to the app that was still available on the Play Store in India.”
A month after a 16-year-old kid reportedly shot his mother after she forbade him from playing “online games like PubG,” the government has failed to formally explain why it ordered the game to be taken down.
The government stated that the Ministry of Home Affairs was looking into some of the banned apps that were reappearing with a new avatar but the same functionality during the current session of Parliament, where this problem was also brought up.
Inquiring about the IT Ministry’s response to PUBG-like apps last week, Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy added that “some minors have also committed crimes when they were restrained from playing the game.”
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for electronics and information technology, had this to say in response: “There are numerous reports and grievances received in Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), conveying that apps that were blocked are appearing in new avatars by using similar sounding names or rebranded with the same functionality.
All of these reports and complaints have been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the asking organization, for review.
The Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009, establish due process, and MeitY complies with them.
According to a media story, a child killed his mother while playing the game PUBG. LEAs are looking into this to determine the cause. However, MeitY stopped the PUBG gaming software in 2020, and since that time, the game has not been accessible in India, Chandrasekhar continued.
This is the second time the game has been removed from Indian app stores; its predecessor, the well-known battle royale game PUBG, has already been prohibited in the nation.
When PUBG Mobile and 117 other allegedly Chinese-made applications were banned in India in 2020, Tencent Games, a Chinese internet company, was the game’s local publisher. The games were allegedly involved in activities that were “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state, and public order.”
The PUBG Corporation, a Krafton company, said in September 2020 that it would not authorize the PUBG Mobile franchise to Tencent Games in India and took over all publishing obligations in the nation before the game was relaunched in India in its rebranded form.