BGMI blocked in “interest of national security”, says Indian Govt source
In the late hours of July 28, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was found to be removed from the Google Play and Apple App Store. Soon after, Google and Krafton came up with a statement, with Google suggesting that it was asked to take down the game from the store. Now, the government has released a circular wherein it states the reason behind getting the game pulled down from the App Stores. And it seems it has to do with the same reasons that were mentioned during the mega 118 apps ban in 2020.
In a report from Reuters, it is said that the government banned the game as a result of the action over concerns that BGMI was still sharing data with China. The government has initially blocked access to the 118 apps in 2020, which involved popular games and apps such as PUBG Mobile, CamScanner, and TikTok under Section 69A of the Indian IT laws. Now, it is using the same law to ban Battlegrounds Mobile India.
BGMI banned for same reasons as PUBG Mobile
Note that government is yet to confirm the ban publicly and hence, you should keep an eye on a circular from MeitY. It was long debated that BGMI was essentially the same game as PUBG Mobile, albeit with different data storage and management policies.
Prior to BGMI, it was Garena Free Fire that faced a similar fate. Earlier in 2022, the Free Fire game was removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. However, its improved version, Free Fire Max, has been available to play on both Android and iOS devices. The Indian government has so far banned over 300 apps since the first wave of ban in 2020. While Krafton separated from tencent to bring back the game to India, other popular apps didn't bother make a return to India, including TikTok and CamScanner.
As of now, those wanting to get their hang of the battle royale experience on mobile can now rely on other titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile, Apex Legends Mobile, and New State Mobile.