Krafton’s Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) has been removed from Play Store and App store and the zephyr of the information has stormed gaming and esports aficionados. Since the time Krafton launched BGMI, the company has invested more than $100 million ‘to improve India’s local video game, esports scene’. Like the previous ban on PUBG, this move has not just affected the publisher but almost the entire esports ecosystem as along with the publisher’s official tournaments, plenty of Indian esports organisations were also organising multiple BGMI tournaments with massive prize pools. The game is a major revenue driver for esports organisations, teams, live streamers, esports players, and gaming content creators in India. The sudden lift of the game from the stores has made the industry experts and enthusiasts surprised, though players who have installed the game earlier can still play the game but no new users will be download the game from the store.
Here is how the industry experts reacted:
Skyesports founder and CEO Shiva Nandy shared, “BGMI was an integral part of esports in India and if it’s banned, it will certainly put the growing sport five steps back.
But, just like last time, the Indian esports industry was able to sustain itself and I am sure that the same will happen again. We at Skyesports have always prioritized different esports titles and will continue to do what we have been doing.Let’s wait for the official confirmation and then decide what to do. No matter what happens, we at Skyesports will continue bringing esports competitions which the community wants.”
Trinity Gaming India co-founder and BGMI marketing partner Shivam Rao shared, “The ban of BGMI is very unfortunate for the gaming community. It will impact the livelihoods and income of gamers and the esports talent in the industry. Many skilled gamers have left their families, homes and traditional jobs to build and pursue their careers as professionals. Such a ban will make their future and careers uncertain.
As the marketing partners for BGMI we were pleased to notice the positive outcome in the industry with the birth of BGMI last year. But now, with this ban the options for players and gamers reduce drastically. If the ban decision holds, we will probably see a decline in the number of gamers and its communities across India. Meanwhile, this decision has come when India is going to debut in the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham, UK. It will certainly impact discussions and participation of gamers and the overall Indian esports ecosystem.While we appreciate policy and regulation and accepts the govt’s decision, we hope that the sentiments of the youth, gamers and the esports industry overall is managed.”
Esports Premier League director Vishwalok Nath shared, “We are yet to receive an official statement from the Government on the reason behind the removal of the game from the Play Store and App Store. This is between the publisher and the government and we hope this issue will be resolved soon. For ESPL, it’s a wait-and-watch time to take further decisions.”
Revenant Esports founder and CEO Rohit Jagasia shared, “The BGMI BAN will definitely be a setback for all major stakeholders like tournament organisations, esports teams, coaches, support staff and most importantly the athletes. However, at Revenant Esports, we will still be supporting our BGMI athletes and make sure they use our training facility to create content and try their hand at different games. With that being said, the entire industry will take a hit but Revenant was built during the first stint of the ban and we have always believed in diversification. We still have rosters competing in Pokémon Unite which will be representing India at the World Championship in London, Call of Duty Mobile which will be playing the regional playoffs for the World Championship, Apex Legends that previously represented the SEA region in the ALGS Playoffs in Stockholm, Valorant that is currently playing a couple of regional tournaments. We have been the youngest team to represent our region over three times in eight months. We have always believed in diversification and will continue to do so. We are optimistic of supporting our BGMI athletes during these trying times.”
Esports Federation of India director Asian Esports Federation (AESF) vice president Lokesh Suji shared, “This is too early to comment and we should wait for the official statement from the Government or the publisher to know more about this matter. India is paving its path to becoming a multi-sport nation where every sport is getting the right visibility, audience and investment to grow. We have to reflect the same in esports where we need to start giving exposure to multi esports titles and not limited to one. With so much attention on every front including the government, it’s also high time our Indian video game developers speed up the process to launch world-class esports video game titles.”
Qlan co-founder and CEO Sagar Nair opined, “As the official statement is yet to come on the removal of the game, if this game removal will stay for some time then it will be damaging to the ever-growing Indian esports ecosystem. It’s not just about one game but with the kind of popularity, player base and viewership BGMI has, it is leading the biggest esports title in India. Looking at it from a sports lens, although we are a multi-sport nation, cricket enjoys the biggest chunk of revenue and viewership in our country. This potential stay will hamper the whole esports ecosystem – consumers, businesses, stakeholders, jobs and much more. There is a large investment riding on startups, tournaments and game streaming, it’s a trickle effect waiting to happen. All being said, the esports revolution in India is huge and the community is tightly bound. Indian esports will continue to grow and thrive.”
Alpha Zegus founder and director Rohit Agarwal commented, “All we know is that such occurrences are becoming more common by the year, and are happening without any foresight. Not very long ago, we saw a wave of China-based apps getting banned overnight, and also saw the likes of Free Fire getting the red flag – all happening without any prior warnings. Also, with the recent incident of a boy killing his mother over a BGMI argument, the game had yet again come under the radar of the government and marked it as “unsafe for young adults”. Similar incidents of arguments and damages due to the game have arisen in the past. Government is yet to release an official statement in terms of the reasoning behind the ban (considering Krafton had taken almost all possible precautions to launch the game within set guidelines) but what we have realised by now is mobile games are becoming more unpredictable by the day. I hope a regulatory body comes into play which monitors the games over time, instead of banning them overnight.
STAN co-founder and CEO Parth Chadha shared, “The recent removal of BGMI app from Play Store and Apple App Store has caused a lot of uncertainty and upheaval amongst the BGMI-lovers’ community in India — which is at the moment growing bigger with every passing day. This move, if it turns out to be a permanent one, affects the BGMI athletes in our country big time; hence the time is now to squad up together against this one. We at STAN realize the immense socio-economic potential that BGMI has for our nation, and thus we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the community to help them overcome any crisis scenarios, be it now or in the future. Of course, while it is true that the esports industry is not just about one game, but then, the Government must realise that banning it is never a solution.”
Technology and gaming lawyer Jay Sayta shared, “The govt has not clarified it’s stand but such kind of knee jerk bans dampen investor sentiments and take India behind in its goal to become an esports hub.”
#BGMI stormed the micro blogging site, Twitter’s trending list with funny and sad posts of both BGMI players and non BGMI players. Here are some of the reactions:
— Pratham (@Pratham01362116) July 28, 2022
— Ramen (university exam) (@CoconutShawarma) July 28, 2022
— ＶＥＥＲ ? (@amveerboy) July 28, 2022
— Arihant Chopra (@IArihant95) July 28, 2022
— BTC (@Btc_memer_hu) July 28, 2022
PUBGM 2020 – Pharaoh Update is here.
Govt. 2020 – Ban is here.
— Gajinder Singh slathia (@GajinderSlathia) July 28, 2022
— ɅMɅN DUВΞY (@imAmanDubey) July 28, 2022
— Prayag (@theprayagtiwari) July 28, 2022
— Akdas Hayat (@Akdas_Hayat) July 28, 2022
Government banned #BGMI *
Players. VS Mom’s pic.twitter.com/dPJVEmUWXi
— SAJAL 2.0 (@_Sajal10) July 29, 2022
— Amit! (@AMITZZZ_) July 28, 2022
So #BGMI has been removed from Play Store again following govt order??
Meanwhile me and my squad : pic.twitter.com/66mPR6J6tb
— ????? (@IAmRahulAkkian) July 28, 2022