Here is what esports experts are saying about the popular game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) suddenly being removed from Google Play & Apple App store.
The popular game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) has suddenly disappeared from India’s Google Play and Apple App Store. The game was launched last year after the Indian government banned its previous iteration, PUBG Mobile citing security reasons.
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No reasoning has so far been given for the removal of the game, sending the Indian esports into a tizzy.
Waiting for Govt. Reasoning
Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India (ESFI) & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) says it’s too early to comment without knowing the facts.
“We should wait for the official statement from the Government or the publisher to know more about this matter.
“India is paving its path to becoming a multi-sport nation where every sport is getting the right visibility, audience and investment to grow. We have to reflect the same in Esports where we need to start giving exposure to multi Esports titles and not limited to one.
This is between the publisher and the government, and we hope this issue will be resolved soon. For ESPL, it’s a wait-and-watch time to take further decisions
“With so much attention on every front including the government, it’s also high time our Indian video game developers speed up the process to launch world-class esports video game titles,” he said.
“We are yet to receive an official statement from the Government on the reason behind the removal of the game from the Play Store and App Store. This is between the publisher and the government, and we hope this issue will be resolved soon. For ESPL, it’s a wait-and-watch time to take further decisions,” said Vishwalok Nath, Director, Esports Premier League.
Contd. Support for BGMI Athletes
Rohit Jagasia, Founder & CEO, Revenant Esports, promises continued support to its BGMI athletes.
“The BGMI ban will definitely be a setback for all major stakeholders like tournament organisations, esports teams, coaches, support staff and most importantly the athletes. However, at Revenant Esports, we will still be supporting our BGMI athletes and make sure they use our training facility to create content and try their hand at different games.
The BGMI ban will definitely be a setback for all major stakeholders like tournament organisations, esports teams, coaches, support staff and most importantly the athletes…We are optimistic of supporting our BGMI athletes during these trying times
“With that being said, the entire industry will take a hit but Revenant was built during the first stint of the ban, and we have always believed in diversification. We still have rosters competing in Pokémon Unite, which will be representing India at the World Championship in London, Call of Duty Mobile, which will be playing the regional playoffs for the World Championship, Apex Legends that previously represented the SEA region in the ALGS Playoffs in Stockholm, Valorant that is currently playing a couple of regional tournaments.
“We have been the youngest team to represent our region over three times in eight months. We have always believed in diversification and will continue to do so. We are optimistic of supporting our BGMI athletes during these trying times,” he said.
Damaging to Growing Indian Esports Ecosystem
Sagar Nair, Co-Founder and CEO, Qlan, a gamer’s social network, says the ban could harm Indian esports ecosystem.
“As the official statement is yet to come on the removal of the game, if this game removal will stay for some time, then it will be damaging to the ever-growing Indian esports ecosystem. It’s not just about one game but with the kind of popularity, player base and viewership BGMI has, it is leading the biggest esports title in India.
This potential stay will hamper the whole esports ecosystem – consumers, businesses, stakeholders, jobs and much more. There is a large investment riding on startups, tournaments and game streaming, it’s a trickle effect waiting to happen.
“Looking at it from a sports lens, although we are a multi-sport nation, cricket enjoys the biggest chunk of revenue and viewership source in our country. This potential stay will hamper the whole esports ecosystem – consumers, businesses, stakeholders, jobs and much more. There is a large investment riding on startups, tournaments and game streaming, it’s a trickle effect waiting to happen.
“All being said, the esports revolution in India is huge and the community is tightly bound. Indian esports will continue to grow and thrive,” he said.
Bans Becoming Common, Industry Needs Regulation
Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus, the next-gen marketing agency specialising in the domains of gaming and lifestyle says that such bans without prior information are becoming common and regulation is required in the ecosystem.
“All we know is that such occurrences are becoming more common by the year and are happening without any foresight. Not very long ago, we saw a wave of China-based apps getting banned overnight and also saw the likes of Free Fire getting the red flag – all happening without any prior warnings.
The Government is yet to release an official statement in terms of the reasoning behind the ban (considering Krafton had taken almost all possible precautions to launch the game within set guidelines) but what we have realised by now is mobile games are becoming more unpredictable by the day.
“Also, with the recent incident of a boy killing his mother over a BGMI argument, the game had yet again come under the radar of the government and marked it as ‘unsafe for young adults’. Similar incidents of arguments and damages due to the game have risen in the past.
“The Government is yet to release an official statement in terms of the reasoning behind the ban (considering Krafton had taken almost all possible precautions to launch the game within set guidelines) but what we have realised by now is mobile games are becoming more unpredictable by the day.
“I hope a regulatory body comes into play which monitors the games over time, instead of banning them overnight,” he said.
BGMI Owner Krafton Invested Heavily in Indian Esports
Krafton owned BGMI surpassed 100 million registered users in July 2022. With the aim of building a robust esports environment, Krafton Inc. has broadened the horizon when it comes to the format of BGMI’s tournaments. As per their plans, 2022 will see four pro and semi-pro tournaments (BMOC, recently concluded BMPS Season 1, BGIS Season 2 and BMPS Season 2) featuring cash prizes of INR 6 crores while giving players across India a platform to showcase their skills.
Read more: Global Esports wins India’s first-ever televised BGMI Master Series Tournament 2022
In the last year, Krafton invested nearly 100 million USD in India’s local video game, esports, and entertainment startups to build a healthy gaming startup ecosystem. This included US$22.5 million in Nodwin Gaming in March 2021, US$9 million in Loco in June 2021, US$48 million in Pratilipi in July 2021, US$6.5 million in Frnd in December 2021, US$5.4 million in Nautilus Mobile in February 2022, US$7 million in Kuku FM in March 2022, and an undisclosed amount in Lila Games in March 2022.
Apart from the publisher’s official tournaments, plenty of Indian esports organisations were also organising multiple BGMI tournaments with massive prize pools. The game is a major revenue source for esports organisations, teams, live streamers, esports players, and gaming content creators in India.