Will BGMI get unbanned in India as VLC Player makes a successful comeback

VLC's unban can be an optimistic sign for BGMI fans, but it might mean nothing in reality (Image via VideoLAN and Krafton)

BGMI's future has been uncertain since the Government of India's MeitY blocked it. There hasn't been any official confirmation regarding the game's return, despite almost four months of its removal from the Play Store and the App Store.

Many are not expecting Battlegrounds Mobile India to return, but a recent development might inject some optimism. MeitY has removed the ban on VLC Media Player, which it imposed earlier this year. However, unlike Battlegrounds Mobile India, the VLC Player's website was blocked in India.

What could the unbanning of VLC Media Player's website mean for BGMI's future?

That's the biggest question.VideoLAN is a completely apolitical organization (except on DRM and Free software subjects), and we don't provide, convey, censor or distribute any content.And of course, we have no user data whatsoever.Why would @GoI_MeitY block us?…

VideoLAN's (VLC's developer) website became inaccessible in February 2022 in India, making it impossible for users to download the cross-platform multimedia player from the official source. Reportedly, MeitY imposed the ban under the IT Act 2000, but no official explanation was provided, as stated via VideoLAN's Twitter handle.

Some reports suggested the ban might be related to the application's links with China, but the developer refuted any such claims. They further clarified that the VLC Media Player doesn't collect any data from users, which implied that the ban was not a consequence of any data security issues. Developers stated:

"we don’t collect info, we don’t require user accounts, we don’t spy on people (telemetry). So once you have VLC, you don’t need our servers, for it to work."
Because VLC works perfectly without our servers: we don’t collect info, we don’t require user accounts, we don’t spy on people (telemetry).So once you have VLC, you don’t need our servers, for it to work.Yes, it is sadly rare those days……
If you are in India, please help us.…

Finally, an NGO/NPO named Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) provided legal help to VideoLAN, another NPO, to reinstate access to the latter's website in India. Hence, months after the ban on VLC Media Player's official website, MeitY removed the ban, and fans were able to access it again.

VICTORY 🎉@GoI_MeitY has decided to remove its ban on the website of VLC media player. IFF provided legal support to @videolan throughout this process. (1/3)#WhatTheBlock
Awesome work from @internetfreedom, if you are india, you should support them!…

However, unlike the VLC Media Player, BGMI's comeback seems more uncertain as the Government of India has already confirmed the reason behind the ban via an answer to an RTI appeal. Battlegrounds Mobile India was blocked due to data security and privacy concerns.

Moreover, some sources suggested that the Indian servers of Battlegrounds Mobile India could be in direct or indirect communication with Chinese servers. Thus, the situation of BGMI seems more complicated than that of VLC Media Player, as the former needs to get rid of the privacy issues.

Thus, one cannot expect MeitY to unban Battlegrounds Mobile India, the same way they did with the VLC Media Player. Hence, the unban of VLC's official website could mean nothing in the case of BGMI, as they didn't have the same issues.

However, the only positive sign here is the removal of the ban, which ultimately happened for VLC. Thus, if Krafton is able to address every issue while continuously communicating with government authorities, Battlegrounds Mobile India might be able to make a return.

Fortunately, Krafton has shown interest in resuming Battlegrounds Mobile India's services. The South Korean game company stated its interest via a press release related to Q3 earnings. Here's a quote from the Q3 report listed on Krafton's official website:

"KRAFTON is continuing its efforts to resume services for BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI) and will continue investing in the Indian games market."

Although the return seems uncertain, fans should not lose hope. Fans should avoid downloading BGMI from any unofficial website and explore other alternatives like New State Mobile and COD Mobile until their favorite game makes a comeback in the Indian market.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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