28 July was a dark day in the history of Indian gaming and esports as the popular BR title BGMI was removed from both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The game was revoked due to a possible breach of privacy (following the rules stated under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000).
The incident has created a lot of confusion in the minds of players. Since the game is yet to be officially banned, many continue to play it. Meanwhile, others have found alternatives.
BGMI has seen a drop in its playerbase but can still be played in India
Within months of its release, Battlegrounds Mobile India became one of the most downloaded games in the Indian gaming market. However, the delisting of the popular BR title from both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store will be a massive setback for gaming and esports in India.
Many days have passed since the incident took place, and several statements have surfaced on the internet (including those by MEITY officials). However, users who had already installed the game before 28 July are still able to log in using their respective social media accounts and enjoy playing the game.
Although the game has been removed, its servers are still online. Many top-tier BGMI tournaments and scrims are also getting organized, and many pro players are seen participating in them. Furthermore, Krafton continues to introduce new events in the game, like the Independence Day celebration events.
Fans are still waiting for an official statement from the government which will clearly confirm whether the game is permanently banned. Meanwhile, many popular streamers have shifted to playing other games. Mortal and Aman were recently seen playing New State Mobile scrims on their YouTube livestreams. The duo urged their followers to try out the game and continue enjoying the thrill of the Battle Royale mode.
Several other YouTubers like Snax, Kaashvi, Mavi, and Ultron were also seen playing the game. This has resulted in a lot of players across the country switching to alternatives.
New State Mobile is now considered the best alternative to BGMI and could garner massive interest in the country's esports circuit. However, games like Apex Legends Mobile and Free Fire Max are also making their mark.
Official statement from Krafton after BGMI was removed from the Play Store and App Store
Popular game developer Krafton Inc. is working hard to make Battlegrounds Mobile India available to Indian users once again. Krafton India's CEO, Sean Hyunil Sohn, recently put out a public statement mentioning the company's commitment to developing the esports and gaming ecosystem in India.
Sohn thanked fans for their continuous support and mentioned that the company would focus on establishing communication and resolving the matter as soon as possible. He also requested that BGMI players and fans remain patient and wait for further updates from the company.