On September 2, 2020, the Indian gaming community faced a significant setback when the government removed PUBG Mobile from the Apple and Google Play stores in the country. This came as a shock to Indian players and also to the global PUBG Mobile community. At the time, the title was the most loved mobile game in India, which helped build the esports ecosystem.
Remembering the day two years later, 8Bit co-owner Animesh “Thug” Agarwal tweeted,
“Crazy how the Bgmi community stands today on 2nd Sept the same way we stood 2 years back ! Clarity is the need of the hour.”
The community on July 28 saw another hitch as Apple and Google pulled BGMI from their respective stores, following the Indian government’s order.
Thug pointed out both setbacks in his tweet that the community has been supporting each other since the BGMI ban, just as they stood after the removal of PUBG Mobile.
About PUBG Mobile ban
On September 2, 2020, Wednesday, the Indian government suddenly blocked 118 mobile app citing data and security concerns. PUBG Mobile is one of those apps that got banned in the country.
This was disappointing news for the growing Indian gaming community as it had a huge user base. Before the ban, the title regularly hosted many events and esports tournaments with huge prizes for Indian users.
Apart from these events, Indian teams participated in global PUBG Mobile tournaments. Many players as well as organizations worked hard to make a name for themselves.
Just before the ban, the PMCO 2020: Fall India ended and the top five teams qualified for the PMPL South Asia but unfortunately, they didn’t participate in the event.
The views of Indian streamers on YouTube also saw a big drop day by day. It was a difficult time for players for almost a year, until the release of the Indian version of the game, BGMI, in July 2021.
Release and ban of BGMI
Krafton launched the most awaited game, Battlegrounds Mobile India, for Indian users on July 2, 2021, 303 days after PUBG Mobile’s ban. The game became instantly popular as it was downloaded by more than 34 million users within a week of its release.
The publisher conducted several tournaments and events, including the BGIS 2021, a $135K (₹1 crore) tournament.
Earlier in February, Krafton announced four major events, with a total prize pool of ₹6 crore. Unfortunately, only two tournaments were conducted before the ban.
On July 28, 2022, the game was taken down from the Apple and Google stores due to security concerns about user data. It was available for around 390 days across the country and managed to create the same user base as PUBGM.
The Indian gaming community is hoping for the return of the game as Krafton mentioned in its official statement that the company was communicating with government officials to resolve the concerned issues.