BGMI was launched in the Indian market in 2021 as the country's own variant of PUBG Mobile. Battlegrounds Mobile India witnessed a steep rise in terms of popularity, crossing 100 million downloads within a year as well as establishing a huge esports scene.
However, the meteoric rise was halted on July 28 as the game was removed from the virtual stores of Google and Apple. Later on, it was known that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) blocked the game due to potential security breaches of user data.
BGMI ban 2022: What happened so far
While talking to a news channel, an official from MeitY mentioned how BGMI contained malicious codes detrimental to the security and integrity of India's defensive grid. He mentioned how the app requires permissions that result in privacy breaches of user data as users can be monitored from outside.
Shortly after the removal of the game from the virtual stores, the UC purchases were restricted. Even the tournaments scheduled were postponed until further notice.
A few weeks later, MeitY replied to an RTI filed by Twitter user GodYamarajOP. In response, the body confirmed that the game was banned following the rules of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Furthermore, it was also mentioned that officials from the Indian government and Krafton met to discuss the ban. However, the details of the meeting were not publicly disclosed.
The suspension of BGMI also resulted in the seizure of the in-game updates' release.
The 2.2 update (expected to be released in mid-September) was not released and gamers are still playing the modes introduced in 2.1. Furthermore, the Month 15 and Month 16 RPs were also barred from getting added. It remains to be seen if the 2.3 update will appear in the Indian variant.
Official statements from Krafton on BGMI ban
Till date, a couple of statements from Krafton's officials have surfaced online. The initial statement came on July 30, from Sean Hyunil Sohn (Krafton India's CEO), who focused on the company's desire to help in the growth of Esports and Gaming in India.
Sean said that Krafton has always focused on the privacy of user data. According to him, Krafton has strictly followed all the rules laid down by the Government of India (together with data protection laws and regulations) and will do so in the future.
He assured gamers that the company is trying to resolve the issue and thanked them for their continuous support. He urged players to remain patient and wait for any further updates related to the suspension of BGMI.
On the other hand, Bae Dong-geun (Krafton's CFO), presided over the company's '2022 Q2 results' conference call where he stated that the company is trying its best to get the title back to the virtual stores.
Dong-geun spoke on the same line as Sean and mentioned that the company has always abided by the privacy policies laid out by the Indian government. He also highlighted that Krafton operates on "rigid data security standards and monitoring."