Battlegrounds Mobile India made its appearance in the Indian gaming community by Krafton as “India Ka Battlegrounds” and was whole-heartedly accepted by gamers all over the country popularly as BGMI. The multiplayer game generates approximately INR 52 Crores every 4 months and with a rating of 4.3 stars, it has been downloaded over 50 million times from PlayStore. It currently has around 100 million+ registered users in the country.
However, due to certain serious speculations involving the security of users, the widely popular game has been tentatively banned by the Indian government. On 28 July 2022, BGMI was taken down by Google and Apple from their respective play stores by the force of the government through an order citing the 69A of the IT Act.
(Section 69A under the IT Act allows the government to restrict access to any content in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order. Orders issued under the section are generally confidential. This is the same Act under which other Chinese apps have been banned)
Krafton is a Korean-based company which is backed by Tencent. Tencent is a Chinese-based gaming company which has 13.5% stake in Krafton. As per the allegations of the government, BGMI has been involved in sharing the data of its users directly or indirectly with the Chinese servers. The government believes that the app requires its users to give a series of permissions while using the app such as location tracking, access to camera and microphone, etc. These permissions can be used to manipulate the data of Indian users by the Chinese servers for various illegal activities. Since the government associated the issue with national security, they decided to ban apps like PUBG, CamScanner and various other Chinese apps.
Krafton has given an official statement stating that they are handling the legal obligations with the government. The organisation conveyed a message to its fans saying "We are committed to the Indian market and are positive about the opportunities in the country. At Krafton Inc. the security and privacy of our user data is of utmost importance to use. We have always been compliant with all laws and regulations in India including data protection laws and regulations and will continue abiding by them. We thank you for all the love and support you have shown us in our journey uptill here and hope to continue our association in the future as well. There may be questions in your minds regarding the current situation about the country’s most loved game – BGMI. In line with this, we have been working hard to communicate our sincerity with the concerned authorities and resolve the issues. We kindly request you to wait to hear from us. We will keep you informed about further updates. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships and collectively fostering the gaming ecosystem in India."
BGMI has had a huge role in expanding the territories of virtual gaming in the country. With a number of tournaments and championships involving dozens of teams, it has now started to evolve from passion to profession. Innumerable organisations have been established to associate themselves with the game. With such vast popularity, it has gained the love and support of millions of Indians. It has now found a place in our everyday lives and it is going to be hard to let it go! It has been a major source of getting together and having fun. We hope the government realises the significance of BGMI in the growing gaming industry and is able to come up with a resolve to end this issue. We also wish that Krafton successfully presents all the necessary information in the court to prove itself to be a safe and secure gaming environment for the Indian users.
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