It was July 2022 when KRAFTON’s popular esports game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was suddenly removed from Google Play & Apple App store. Now, as per the official announcement by game publisher Krafton, BGMI is coming back to India after a 10-month suspension.
Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, 8Bit Creatives, an Indian esports consulting and talent agency, which boasts of top BGMI content creators, feels thankful for the news.
The game represents so much for the gaming communityAnimesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, 8Bit Creatives
“The weekend fever has never been higher for all of us at 8Bit Creatives. The game represents so much for the gaming community, and we are thankful to the team at Krafton, Indian Govt. Officials & everyone else who has been working relentlessly to make this possible. This is sure to infuse new energy into the Indian Gaming Industry, and I am sure the whole industry is going to join forces to make it bigger than ever before. We are looking forward to accelerating this journey, with renewed vigour. We are most thankful to the players, and audiences, who showed great resilience during this period and continued to support the gamers.
Hopefully, all the patience will be well rewarded and all of us get to work hard, and party harder as we take Indian gaming to newer heights. Personally, for me, I want to take a moment to feel that it’s happening, before going back to grind, and making more interesting things happen in the industry,” he says.
BGMI surpassed 100 million registered users in July 2022. The game was one of the biggest revenue-generating Android apps in the country until its suspension. The game clocked about US$33 million in in-app spending from July 2021 to July 2022, according to the estimates app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
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The long-awaited return of BGMI after a 10-month hiatus is a much-needed boost for the Esports community in the country, says Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).
The long-awaited return of BGMI after a 10-month hiatus is a much-needed boost for the Esports community in our countryLokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF)
“The long-awaited return of BGMI after a 10-month hiatus is a much-needed boost for the Esports community in our country. We express our gratitude to the government of India for bringing back the game for the nation’s passionate gaming audience and promoting the Esports ecosystem through this development.
“While the game is set to undergo certain changes to ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience for users upon its comeback on a trial period, it is encouraging to see the government bringing these safety measures for the youth of the country. With Esports getting official recognition from the government and the community adapting well to the absence of BGMI by expanding other titles, we eagerly anticipate the exponential growth that the sector will experience now that the game is back in the picture,” he says.
BGMI made history by becoming the first Esports event to be broadcasted on mainstream television (Star Sports) attracting 24 million concurrent viewers and a total of 200 million viewers.
This announces the return of big mobile tournaments, says Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus, a marketing agency specializing in the domains of gaming & lifestyle.
There has been a dry spell in the mobile competitive scenario for a while now, and this announcement is definitely making many stakeholders happyRohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus
“BGMIs return is definitely big news for the entire industry, and everyone is thrilled about the good old days coming back. There has been a dry spell in the mobile competitive scenario for a while now, and this announcement is definitely making many stakeholders happy.
“Tournaments of all scales can restart, and players/content creators who have been on pause can resume. However, we need to be very cautious and responsible towards the rules set by the government. We’ve had the misfortune of the game going the previous 2 times, but if we all approach this carefully, it’ll be here to stay, and here to win,” he says.
Apart from the publisher’s official tournaments, plenty of Indian esports organisations were also organising multiple BGMI tournaments with massive prize pools, which had to be cancelled on account of its sudden suspension.
Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, a social network for gamers, says Krafton’s patience has been paid off.
On a macro level, this could potentially set the tone for future esports titles being released in IndiaSagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan
“The news that was eagerly awaited by the Indian esports community has finally been broken! It is great to see that the patience and perseverance on Krafton’s part to ensure that India’s most loved esports title returns in accordance with the Meity guidelines has paid off. Gamers have long waited for this moment and their happiness will be seen and heard loud and clear in the coming days.
With the Indian authorities sure to keep a close eye on the game during the issued 3-month trial, it will have to uphold the guidelines that are demanded. On a macro level, this could potentially set the tone for future esports titles being released in India. Hoping for a long and continued stay for BMGI with no further complications, as the community rejoices and gets back to the grind,” he says.
As BGMI is a mobile-centric game, according to the latest data provided by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India is currently home to over 430 million mobile gamers and is estimated to grow to 650 million by 2025. Esports stakeholders look forward to integrating with the old game once more.
The return of the game comes at a great time and will ensure a growth of India’s gaming and esports industryShiva Nandy, Founder and CEO, Skyesports
“I welcome BGMI return to India and extend congratulations to Krafton for accomplishing this feat. The game was an integral part of our Esports roadmap before and while we have diversified to other titles, we look forward to integrating India’s favorite battle royale title to our IPs like the Skyesports League, Skyesports Championship, and more in the near future. The return of the game comes at a great time and will ensure a growth of India’s gaming and esports industry,” says Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO, Skyesports.
The game is a major revenue source for esports organisations, teams, live streamers, esports players, and gaming content creators in India.
We had already heard rumblings of the game’s return and had thus already begun strengthening our battle royale roster with the addition of Sensei and MJRohit Jagasia, Founder and CEO, Revenant Esports
“We had already heard rumblings of the game’s return and had thus already begun strengthening our battle royale roster with the addition of Sensei and MJ,” says Rohit Jagasia, Founder and CEO, Revenant Esports.
“For us at Revenant, we look forward to using the game to strengthen our newly launched content IPs and expanding them further to include BGMI. Fans can expect to see a lot of exciting content from us soon. I congratulate Krafton on managing to bring the game back and look forward to their Esports plans for the game. The game’s return will definitely be a huge boost to the entire Esports industry and reopen revenue streams for all stakeholders,” he adds.
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As per Niko Partner’s India Games Market Report 2022, India is a mobile-first market with 98.8% of gamers playing on the platform, accounting for 85% of total market revenue. Data costs in India are the lowest in the world.
Nauman Mulla, Co-founder and COO, STAN, says the return of BGMI will bring back a surge in the gaming industry.
With utmost confidence, we anticipate BGMI to successfully navigate through the three-month trial period, fostering a secure and wholesome gaming culture for its passionate fanbaseNauman Mulla, Co-founder and COO, STAN
“We are thrilled to witness the resurgence of BGMI in India, poised to bring about a remarkable surge in the gaming industry. The dedicated fans of BGMI have been eagerly anticipating this news for quite some time. STAN, with its unwavering commitment, will be doubling down its efforts towards BGMI and is excited to bring in new features for the fans. With utmost confidence, we anticipate BGMI to successfully navigate through the three-month trial period, fostering a secure and wholesome gaming culture for its passionate fanbase.”