Krafton's plans with Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) were to capitalize and retain the userbase that PUBG Mobile lost after its ban in September 2022. The Indian PUBG Mobile variant rejuvenated the craze for BR gameplay, streamers got their audience back, and the title even saw a rise in its active userbase.
Following the increase in the number of users, Battlegrounds Mobile India jumped into the Indian esports scene, much like PUBG Mobile had done. Fans witnessed tournaments like BGIS 2021, BMOC 2022, and BMPS 2022. However, all the progress BGMI had seen in esports was in vain, as the game was banned on 28 July 2022.
The ban has disrupted the growth of Krafton in India and has also affected the esports ecosystem.
BGMI's esports ecosystem is facing hiccups following ban
It is worthwhile to note that esports was not a well-known domain in India before PUBG Mobile's launch. Thus, in a way, PUBG Mobile's competitive tournaments made the esports scene in India mainstream as well as in several other countries.
The ban on PUBG Mobile reduced the scope for esports-related developments until the launch of BGMI. And now, following the ban of this title, a similar trend can be seen in the ecosystem that was built around Battlegrounds Mobile India esports.
On Twitter, popular esports personalities, such as MortaL, have shared their concerns regarding the sudden ban, also talking about the hopes of people linked to the growth of esports in the country. Here's what Naman "MortaL" Mathur tweeted:
"Really comes as a shocker because the Growth of Esports in India has been tremendous. All will come down to a stop if something happens to BGMI(Top esports game in India). Trust will be broken. People who HOPED, will remain hopeless. I hope you look into the matter @GoI_MeitY"
At the same time, Skyesports' CEO, Shiva Nandy, also shared his insights by calling the decision an interim order and not a ban.
Shiva posted a story on his Instagram sharing his opinion and knowledge of the developments. However, like MortaL, he also highlighted the problem related to the stoppage of the esports activities surrounding Battlegrounds Mobile India. Here's what Shiva wrote in his story on 2 August:
"Two days before the game was removed from the store, we got a hint, and that is why stopped most of the advance amount to be paid for the Skyesports League, LAN Delhi."
In contrast to the previous two personalities, Animesh "Thug" Agarwal asked the BGMI fans to stop crying and highlighted that the ecosystem is built around fans, teams, and players. He also named New State Mobile as a potential replacement for Battlegrounds Mobile India, saying:
"NEW STATE COULD BE FUTURE! STOP CRYING START GRINDING!"
In conclusion, with the esports ecosystem around the game falling apart, it's likely that gamers will move on to other titles, leaving the BGMI esports scene in the dust.
That said, New State Mobile emerging as a like-to-like alternative and slots for PMWI 2022 being given to 7SEA and Team Soul are some positives that can stabilize the esports ecosystem again.