A massive shockwave of confusing emotions has just erupted in the Indian gaming community as fan-favourite battle royale shooter BGMI might have just been de-listed/banned from both the Google Play Store and the App Store. The game is currently not available for download on either iOS or Android but those who have the game installed can still access the servers and play the game.
An official comment from Google confirmed that the removal from the Play Store was a direct result of a government order. We reached out to Krafton regarding the removal of BGMI and the official statement currently suggests that the publisher is currently seeking clarification from Google.
BGMI has recently become somewhat of a hot-button topic not just within the Indian gaming community as a result of several controversies in the past few months.
BGMI Banned in the Country
The Data Migration Theory
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Several rumours seem to posit that the removal of BGMI from the App Store and Google Play Store is the Government’s action against the migration of user data to foreign servers. Back when PUBG Mobile was initially banned in the country, one of the primary reasons, the Government explained, were issues concerning the security risk of user data migration.
A report from IGN India back in 2021 revealed that data from the beta release of the game had been migrated to servers owned in Beijing by parent company Tencent. This was a major red flag for the game, however, it is to be noted that these servers were for the beta build of the game.
The final build of the game which was released in India had servers within the country to mitigate any issues regarding security concerns when it comes to data migration. Currently, there are BGMI servers in India.
Possible Violation of Digital Security and Privacy Concerns
From an interview with TechCrunch this week (linked above in this thread). pic.twitter.com/Zwx01udc9j
— 0xSkeptic (@RishiAlwani) July 28, 2022
One of the biggest question marks raised against BGMI was the re-release of the game as legislators in the Parliament questioned whether BGMI complies with all digital security guidelines. This concern was founded in the suspicion that BGMI was simply a re-branding of “PUBG Mobile” and that the game was essentially the same game that had been banned earlier in 2020.
Krafton representatives explained that the government itself does not intervene with app functionality within the country and that MeitY had conducted investigations that concluded that BGMI and PUBG Mobile were indeed two different games.
Whether this current ban is a result of any violation of digital security remains to be seen but seeing as those concerns were of primary importance to Krafton, this seems highly unlikely.
Lucknow Murder Case and BGMI Implication
Yes sir it is the BGMI story was cooked intially by father & son and the proof is in plain sight that why this happened, plus if anyone wants to hear the story in depth they can check out "Crime Tak" Ep 1093,1097 and Ep 1103 on YouTube by Shams Tahir sir. pic.twitter.com/RKyclTVDfw
— RitwiK (@RwickHere) July 26, 2022
Earlier in June, a 16-year-old teen allegedly shot his mother dead over an argument that stemmed from the parent refusing to let the teen play “BGMI” on his phone. The case resulted in a substantial crowd of people calling for a ban on the mobile game, alleging that the game was violent in nature and had spurred on the teen’s actions.
However, the victim’s family had come out to suggest that the story about the mobile game was cooked up by the teen and his father. Whether the government is simply responding to the calls for the game’s ban remains unclear but as of now, there has not been an official statement directly from the government.
Videogames being blamed for violent crimes is not a narrative restricted to just India as there have been several instances around the world, especially in the United States, where the morality of games has been called into question. Studies have shown that video games do not lead to violence.
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