PUBG has been banned in India, again! Not technically PUBG, its replacement BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India) has been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
BGMI was launched in India as an India-specific version of PUBG mobile after being banned in India. PUBG Mobile was banned in India along with other Chinese apps and games that were deemed a “threat to national security”
Why was BGMI removed from the Play Store and App Store?
There is no clear reason given behind the game’s removal from both app stores. But Reuters reports that it is a similar ban to the one given to PUBG Mobile and TikTok two years ago. The report also states that the ban was imposed invoking section 69A of the IT Act. And the ban was imposed due to data-sharing concerns with China.
A Google spokesperson made this statement to Techcrunch (opens in new tab)“Upon receiving the order, following the established process, we notified the affected developer and blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India.”
The game was taken offline by Google on the Play Store, while Krafton itself pulled the app from the Apple App Store, reports Techcrunch.
Krafton made this statement about the issue: “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from Google Play and will let you know as soon as we have specific information.”
Last week, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said (opens in new tab) Authorities are investigating the alleged murder of a mother by her child is linked to BGMI addiction. He also mentioned that there have been several complaints of banned apps returning in different avatars recently in a written response to Rajya Sabha.
The National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (NCPCR) wrote a letter to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology about the incident. Asking how a banned game (PUBG) is still available to minors in the country.
Is the game playable now?
Although the game has been pulled from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, it is still playable. The game servers have not been taken down so far. Here are the screenshots I just took just now:
If it is indeed a ban like before, it won’t be long before the servers are also brought down in the game. You can play the game until that happens. Whatever the case, we’ll have to wait for more development.
It might be time for you to look for a different game to play, like COD Mobile or Apex Legends. Or you can try Krafton’s New State, which is also a battle royale game very similar to BGMI.