Krafton to relaunch BGMI mobile game in India, a year after banReading Time: 2 minutes
South Korean giant Krafton said on Friday that it has secured the approval from the Indian authorities to resume operations of Battlegrounds Mobile India. It plans to make the title available for download in the South Asian market ‘soon.’ The move follows New Delhi blocking the game last year, less than two years after banning Krafton’s marquee offering PUBG in the country.
Krafton has been engaging with New Delhi in recent weeks and received the approval to push ahead with the resumption of BGMI earlier this month, according to a person familiar with the matter. Krafton did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
PUBG, and its modified avatar BGMI, have been the mobile popular mobile games in India. Before the ban, PUBG had over 50 million monthly active users, surpassing all rivals across different gaming platforms. PUBG was also the pillar that led to the growth of e-sports community in India, giving more popularity to scores of other platforms including Rooter and Loco that stream those matches.
‘We are highly grateful to the Indian authorities for allowing us to resume operations of Battlegrounds Mobile India. We would like to extend our gratitude to our Indian gaming community for their support and patience over the past few months,’ Sean Hyunil Sohn, chief executive of Krafton India, said in a statement.
‘We are excited to announce that Battlegrounds Mobile India will be available for download soon and we cannot wait to welcome you back to our platform. We believe in the power of gaming to bring people together and create unforgettable experiences. We are committed to delivering exceptional products and services to our users in India and beyond, and we look forward to continuing our journey with you.’
The move comes at a time when New Delhi is contemplating reversing ban on a number of apps that it deemed had links to China. E-commerce service Shein is also set to re-enter India in partnership with local retail giant Reliance Retail, WSJ reported Thursday.
Amid geopolitical tension between India and China, which escalated in mid-2020 amid deadly skirmishes along the Himalayan border, New Delhi in response banned over 300 apps with links to China. The apps included Shein, PUBG, TikTok and UC Browser.
Krafton rushes to cut any perceived affiliation with China — severing ties with publishing giant Tencent and moving to Azure server in India — and relaunched PUBG with slight modifications and a new name: BGMI. New Delhi blocked the game yet again, in July 2022, but this time did not affect consumers who already had the app installed on their devices, according to people familiar with the matter.
‘We would like to extend our gratitude to our Indian gaming community for their support and patience over the past few months,’ Krafton said Friday.
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