Battlegrounds Mobile India, one of the most loved games in the South Asian country, was banned on July 28. While the Indian government didn’t put out any reason for the ban, several media reports said that sources in the government had revealed that the game was banned for sharing user data with China.
Since then, every BGMI player in the country has been waiting for the government to unban the game. But, is it even possible?
BGMI ban to potentional unban: The storyline so far
The ban on BGMI is a long story. To condense it all, it first started on Sept. 2, 2020. At the time, PUBG Mobile was the leading game in the country.
However, in the afternoon of that dreadful day, India’s ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) put out a press release saying that it was banning the game for allegedly stealing and sending users’ data to servers outside India. PUBG Mobile was one of over 100 applications banned by the Indian government.
A few days later, the servers of the game from India were pulled down and nobody in the country could play the game (without a VPN). Shortly after, Krafton announced that it was taking over the publishing responsibilities for the game and released BGMI nearly six months later in June 2021.
Just like PUBG Mobile, BGMI quickly grew to become a major game in the country with a flourishing esports scene. But, exactly one year after its release, the game has also been banned for the same reasons.
Can BGMI be unbanned?
The million dollar question on BGMI players’ mind: Is an unban possible? The answer is yes, but its still complicated.
Firstly, it’s important to note that the ban on BGMI is different to the other applications banned by the Indian government. All the other apps’ servers were suspended shortly after the ban was announced. However, this isn’t the case with BGMI. Players can still open and play the game without using a VPN of any sort.
The game has been pulled down from the application stores, though. Android users who don’t have it can download the game through third-party stores. The Apple users who had the app before it was banned can only access it now, though. There is also another issue – the game isn’t getting any updates.
BGMI was banned under Section 69A of the IT act by the Indian government. This was confirmed by an RTI filed by a Twitter user. An RTI is basically a right to information which you can ask the Indian government for information on anything. While the Indian government confirmed that the game was banned, it refused to divulge information as it pertained to “security of state” and was thus “confidential” in nature.
It also confirmed that meetings with Krafton representatives were also held. This is a positive sign as this ensures that there has been communication between the government and Krafton on BGMI’s unban. PUBG has had a tough time on the market in general. PUBG Mobile is under perpetual ban in one form or another, seriously hindering any grassroots esports moves.
Have other games be unbanned?
It is to be noted, however, that no other application which has been banned by the country over the past two years have been able to make a comeback. Only PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor were able to do it, however, by bringing the app back in a different avatar: BGMI and Clash of Titans, respectively.
Thus, BGMI might also be able to do the same. But, there are certainly chances that it could be banned yet again.
There are also rumours floating around that Krafton might tie-up with an India-based company to publish BGMI. Thus, this would remove the question mark surrounding data privacy as the Indian company will likely host the servers as well.
There has been no official confirmation yet, though, on whether the game is coming back. Fans will just have to wait and find out.