The hugely popular Battlegrounds Mobile India smartphone game has been banned in India as both Google and Apple have removed the BGMI game from their respective app stores. Having said that, if you already have the game installed on your smartphone then you will still be able to play the BGMI game till the time the government forces Krafton– the developer– to shut it down entirely.
WATCH VIDEO: Why BGMI is banned in India
The government hasn’t responded officially as to why the game is being banned in India. However, Google India officially confirmed that they have received an order from the government to remove the BGMI game. “On receipt of the order, following the established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India,” said Google India.
So, why is BGMI banned in India? Well, we are not given any concrete reasons as of now but insiders in the government along with media reports point towards 3 specific reasons:
BGMI Is Just a Renamed Version of PUBG Mobile That is banned in India
PUBG Mobile was banned by the Government of India on September 2, 2020. Within ten months, Krafton relaunched the game as Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). BGMI is the biggest among the Chinese apps that relaunched and rebranded with the same features and have managed to circumvent scrutiny. BGMI claims to have solved the issues that the government had with PUBG Mobile but there are claims that nothing much has changed and PUBG Mobile is just renamed as BGMI in India.
Earlier in February 2022, Prahar, an NGO has urged the government to block the Chinese gaming app BGMI-PUBG and add it to the list of 54 Chinese apps banned on February 14, 2022 saying its omission in the list is a “clear lapse in judgement on part of the Government”.
According to a report by IANS, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch has supported this initiative by Prahar and has called for an investigation into the antecedents and China influence of BGMI-PUBG.
The incident where a child allegedly killed his mother over the game
Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar pointed out media reports that claimed that a child killed his mother “under the influence of PUBG”. While PUBG Mobile is already banned in India, he highlighted in Rajya Sabha that the banned apps appearing in new names is a concern. He also said that games like these have been sent to the home ministry for “examination”.
Betting, in-app purchases and children getting addicted
You must have read reports where kids have ended up spending lakhs on making in-app purchases in online games without telling their parents. While BGMI has already set a purchase limit of Rs 7,000 in the game, children ‘stealing’ and spending money on online gaming is a concern for parents these days. Also, another issue that has come to the forefront is that kids have started to bet money among their friends over how they perform on BGMI and other games. While the bets are of small denominations mostly, it can’t be ignored that school-going kids are getting hooked to betting.
Parents have complained about PUBG Mobile and similar games for quite some time that these mobile games are a huge distraction and children are getting addicted to games like these, thus impacting their studies and career.