PUBG developers Krafton are working hard behind the scenes on getting BGMI, the bespoke Indian version of PUBG Mobile, unbanned in the country, after their bottom line was hit by the game’s banning.
The company reported that their year-on-year revenue for the mobile battle royale genre, including PUBG Mobile and BGMI, had fallen by 11.6%. This was despite what they called “strong performance” in the first-half of the year. BGMI was purposely developed for the Indian market, after PUBG Mobile was first banned from the country due to tensions between India and China, as PUBG Corporation who are responsible for the game have strong ties with Chinese corporation Tencent.
Krafton however, seems hopeful that this ban will not last forever, and believes that as time goes it will hopefully be revised. As was stated on a recent conference call,l regarding Krafton’s mobile division “We believe that the regional uncertainties will start to mitigate and the uncertainties related to regulations will also start to mitigate. And we’ve been putting in a lot of effort to resume the services of BGMI as well.”
India has 373 million gamers as of 2022 according to Newzoo, with 91% playing on mobile so it’s no surprise that Krafton sees BGMI returning as a key priority. However, they seem at the minute only able to speculate that the atmosphere and tensions which influenced it’s ban will change. But this may not just be wishful thinking, as a recent open letter penned by Indian game makers to regulators indicates increased domestic frustration with the way games are treated and legislated for.
Quite how they would go about getting the game 'unbanned' is, at this point in time, not known.
Clearly, Krafton is hoping that as tensions ease between India and China, that BGMI will be viewed more favourably. However, it is worth noting that their solution to the initial ban was to develop BGMI itself. Therefore it seems Krafton are in a position where the best they can hope to do is present their case and hope that Indian regulators will accept that BGMI – in one form or another – can be reintroduced to the Indian market.