BattleGrounds Mobile India to be ‘unbanned’

Just as Krafton promised, the PUBG spin-off will once again be “available for download soon”

BattleGrounds Mobile India to be ‘unbanned’

BattleGrounds Mobile India (aka BGMI) the regional spin-off of the popular PUBG Mobile title, will be available for download once more after the game was delisted last year.

The title, which was created in order to serve the Indian market as a result of the original PUBG Mobile being banned in the country, also fell foul of legal action that forced it off app stores in the country. At the time many speculated that this was related to political spats between India and China, which intensified scrutiny of companies with any connection to Chinese industries, including Krafton.

The game had been a huge success and seemingly resolved the issues PUBG Mobile had originally faced, with 100 million registered users by July 2022, $33m in in-app spending from July 2021 to 2022 and was also the first esports event broadcast domestically in India.

As far back as October 2022, there were indications that the BGMI ban was a severe hit for Krafton and something they weren’t going to take lying down, after its loss was reflected in poor financial performance

Subsequently there were signs that even with BGMI remaining banned, Krafton was recovering and even succeeding financially. Now, it seems that Krafton’s constant efforts to have the ban overturned have finally borne fruit. The game will return to storefronts and go through a three-month period where lawmakers scrutinise Krafton's business arrangements, but it seems the company is confident enough to put out a statement and encourage their waiting audience to return.

The battle ends

In a statement, CEO of Krafton India, Sean Hyunil Sohn stated, “We are highly grateful to the Indian authorities for allowing us to resume operations of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI). We would like to extend our gratitude to our Indian gaming community for their support and patience over the past few months. 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.”

Head Government Affairs at Krafton India Vibhor Kukreti said, "We would like to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to the authorities for permitting us to restart the operations of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI). KRAFTON, Inc. is a responsible South Korean organisation that abides by the law and has put in place several measures to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations. We work tirelessly to ensure that India takes the lead in this domain by embracing innovative practices in collaboration with the gaming ecosystem to support, sustain and promote its growth.”

With the game being returned to storefronts, Krafton could be looking at a real winner. But there’s also possible trouble on the horizon as home-grown competitor Indus recently passed 1.5m pre-registrations.

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.