It is an exciting day for the esports industry and battle royale game lovers. Their favourite shooter game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) is coming back to India.
The game was banned by the Indian government last year due to security reasons and addiction-related issues. Prior to the ban, the game had created several records: it had surpassed 100 million users in July 2022 and was India’s biggest revenue-generating Android app until it was suspended. Highlighting the in-game purchases, BGMI recorded US $33 million in spending from July 2021 to July 2022.
Here’s what the gaming industry stakeholders have to say about BGMI coming back:
Skyesports founder and CEO Shiva Nandy: “I welcome Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) return to India and extend congratulations to Krafton for accomplishing this feat. The game was an integral part of our esports roadmap before and while we have diversified to other titles, we look forward to integrating India’s favourite battle royale title into our IPs like the Skyesports League, Skyesports Championship, and more in the near future. The return of the game comes at a great time and will ensure the growth of India’s gaming and esports industry.”
Esports Federation of India director and Asian Esports Federation (AESF) VP Lokesh Suji: “The long-awaited return of BGMI after a 10-month hiatus is a much-needed boost for the esports community in our country. We express our gratitude to the government of India for bringing back the game for the nation’s passionate gaming audience and promoting the esports ecosystem through this development. While the game is set to undergo certain changes to ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience for users upon its comeback on a trial period, it is encouraging to see the government bringing these safety measures for the youth of the country. With esports getting official recognition from the government and the community adapting well to the absence of BGMI by expanding other titles, we eagerly anticipate the exponential growth that the sector will experience now that the game is back in the picture.”
8Bit Creatives founder and CEO Animesh Agarwal: “The weekend fever has never been higher for all of us at 8Bit Creatives. The game represents so much for the gaming community, and we are thankful to the team at Krafton, Indian govt. officials and everyone else who has been working relentlessly to make this possible. This is sure to infuse new energy into the Indian gaming industry, and I am sure the whole industry is going to join forces to make it bigger than ever before. We are looking forward to accelerating this journey, with renewed vigour. We are most thankful to the players, and audiences, who showed great resilience during this period and continued to support the gamers.
Hopefully, all the patience will be well rewarded and all of us get to work hard, and party harder as we take Indian gaming to newer heights. Personally, for me, I want to take a moment to feel that it’s happening, before going back to grind, and making more interesting things happen in the industry!”
Revenant Esports founder and CEO Rohit Jagasia: “We had already heard rumblings of the game’s return and had thus already begun strengthening our battle royale roster with the addition of Sensie and MJ. For us at Revenant, we look forward to using the game to strengthen our newly launched content IPs and expanding them further to include BGMI. Fans can expect to see a lot of exciting content from us soon. I congratulate Krafton on managing to bring the game back and look forward to their esports plans for the game.
The game’s return will definitely be a huge boost to the entire esports industry and reopen revenue streams for all stakeholders.”
Alpha Zegus founder and director Rohit Agarwal: “BGMI’s return is definitely big news for the entire industry, and everyone is thrilled about the good old days coming back. There has been a dry spell in the mobile competitive scenario for a while now, and this announcement is definitely making many stakeholders happy. Tournaments of all scales can restart, and players/content creators who have been on pause can resume. However, we need to be very cautious and responsible towards the rules set by the government. We’ve had the misfortune of the game going the previous two times, but if we all approach this carefully, it’ll be here to stay, and here to win!”
Qlan: The Gamer’s Social Network co-founder and CEO Sagar Nair: “The news that was eagerly awaited by the Indian esports community has finally been broken! It is great to see that the patience and perseverance on Krafton’s part to ensure that India’s most loved esports title returns in accordance with the MeitY guidelines has paid off. Gamers have long waited for this moment and their happiness will be seen and heard loud and clear in the coming days.
With the Indian authorities sure to keep a close eye on the game during the issued three-month trial, it will have to uphold the guidelines that are demanded. On a macro level, this could potentially set the tone for future esports titles being released in India. Hoping for a long and continued stay for BMGI with no further complications, as the community rejoices and gets back to the grind.”
Gamerji founder Soham Thacker: “BGMI coming back is great news for the gaming and the esports industry. As one of the most prominent games to have shaped the Indian mobile gaming space, it will definitely boost the growth of gaming in India. Along with the gamers, it will also contribute to the rise in content creation and live streaming. At Gamerji, we see the lack of AAA titles in India affecting the esports industry and the news brings back hope for a lot of aspiring gamers wanting to make a mark and grow their gaming careers.”
STAN co-founder and COO Nauman Mulla said, “We are thrilled to witness the resurgence of BGMI in India, poised to bring about a remarkable surge in the gaming industry. The dedicated fans of BGMI have been eagerly anticipating this news for quite some time. STAN, with its unwavering commitment, will be doubling down its efforts towards BGMI and is excited to bring in new features for the fans. With utmost confidence, we anticipate BGMI to successfully navigate through the three-month trial period, fostering a secure and wholesome gaming culture for its passionate fanbase.”
Nodwin Gaming co-founder and managing director Akshat Rathee said, “The pure thrill of esports in India can find its true manifestation in BGMI. With the recent developments of Nodwin raising funds yesterday and the game coming back today, we can all hop off the nostalgia bus and be truly excited for a mass favorite title making a comeback! Nodwin Gaming sends heartfelt congratulations to the team at Krafton, and to the entire Indian gaming community, it is indeed time to switch on notifications and celebrate!”
SuperGaming co-founder and CEO Roby John said, “There would be no Indus without PUBG/BGMI and playing PUBG and other shooters like Apex, CoD have defined the space for us and our player expectations. We’re glad it’s coming back, gaming should be without boundaries. It’s yet another signal that gaming and esports are the biggest opportunities in India and now, it comes with the recognition of the government as well.Hopefully, this jumpstarts Indian talent for a better and bigger games industry across content creation, esports, and of course, game development.”
Rooter founder and CEO Piyush Kumar said, “The return of the beloved BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India) has sparked joy and anticipation among gamers, and we at Rooter are delighted to join in celebrating this momentous occasion. The game’s comeback is a testimony to the growing impact of gaming as a content category and we are grateful to the government of India for recognizing Krafton’s efforts to find a path to resolution. We are confident that Krafton will continue to work closely with the government and the gaming industry stakeholders. We are also excited about the possibilities that this development will unlock for the entire gaming ecosystem in the country.”
Orangutan co-founder Jai Shah said, “I am absolutely ecstatic about the long-awaited return of BGMI after a 10 month ban. This milestone event brings immense joy to the esports community, providing new opportunities for aspiring players and boosting the mobile gaming sector. The revival of BGMI will create a vibrant competitive scene, attract a massive player base, and foster a sense of unity among esports enthusiasts. As a co-founder of an esports organization, I am thrilled to be part of this remarkable journey and eagerly anticipate the achievements and milestones that lie ahead.”
Trinity Gaming India founder and CEO Abhishek Aggarwal said, “We are glad that the government has taken this initiative. The gaming community and the future of gamers and their careers had come to a standstill. With this move, we hope to see a positive and encouraging future. The player teams will be absolutely thrilled to once again be a part of this booming Indian gaming community.”
IndiGG founder and custodian Manish Agarwal said, “The comeback of BGMI will give the overall Indian gaming industry a shot in the arm. It will encourage gamers and the gaming community including athletes, tournaments, sponsors and streamers to start generating revenue again. The regulatory environment around gaming is constantly evolving and improving which is forming an amazing foundation for growth of gaming in india in this decade.”
Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt Ltd gaming research analyst Jinesh Joshi said, “Suspension of BGMI had a big impact on Esports viewership given it is a popular battle royale game. In fact, in the last earnings call management had highlighted that share of media rights revenue had declined from 39 per cent in FY22 to 21 per cent in FY23 as some of the popular games like BGMI were banned.
Nonetheless, with BGMI now making a come-back, we believe it will be a big positive for esports viewership and Nazara in particular as 1) KRAFTON is an investor in Nodwin and 2) TV broadcasting of BGMI can be explored (Nazara had tied with Star Sports in the past to live telecast the tournament on TV). Also, given steady state EBITDA margin from media rights licensing business can be in the band of 20-25 per cent, we see this move as an overall positive for Nazara.”
Hopefully Krafton comes up with new developments soon and give a clarity on the conditions based on which it is coming back.