Battlegrounds Mobile India is yet to get a release date in India. The PUBG Mobile alternative is available for early access download via the Google Play Store. Krafton, the developer, is yet to make the game available on the Apple App Store. We can expect a formal announcement on the official release of the game very soon. However, dark clouds have started hovering over BGMI ahead of its release. Recently, several ministers have written to the PM demanding a ban on the PUBG Mobile alternative, citing data security concerns. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment at the Toycathon 2021 might add to the trouble for Krafton before releasing BGMI in India.
At the Toycathon 2021, the PM said that most online/ digital games available in the market today are not based on Indian values or concept. These games either promote violence and also are a cause of mental stress. The PMO India’s tweet did not have any mention of BGMI. However, based on the recent developments prior to the PM’s tweet on June 24, it could be a cause of concern for Krafton.
जितने भी ऑनलाइन या डिजिटल गेम्स आज मार्केट में उपलब्ध हैं, उनमें से अधिकतर का कॉन्सेप्ट भारतीय नहीं है।
आप भी जानते हैं कि इसमें अनेक गेम्स के कॉन्सेप्ट या तो Violence को प्रमोट करते हैं या फिर Mental Stress का कारण बनते हैं: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 24, 2021
Ministers in the recent past have demanded a ban on BGMI. Former Union Minister and current Arunachal Pradesh MLA Ninong Erin first wrote a letter to the PM seeking a ban on BGMI. The minister said that BGMI is a “Chinese deception” and a threat to the privacy and security of Indian citizens. Another Member of Parliament, Abhishek Singhvi, tweeted that the game’s release is Tencent’s re-entry in India. That’s not all. Praveen Khandelwal, the Secretary-General of CAIT, wrote to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Communications, Electronics and IT, urging him to stop the release of BGMI.
To add to the trouble, another report claimed that Krafton is sending data from BGMI is being sent to servers in China’s Beijing. The developers later admitted to this data sharing but stated it to be a flaw, and at the moment, a new update has been rolled out to the game that has stopped any sort of data sharing with any Chinese server.
The debacle can be potentially problematic for Krafton with Battlegrounds Mobile India. The game was banned in its previous PUBG Mobile form after the Indian government knocked out over 250 apps from the Indian cyberspace citing their links to Chinese data servers – and highlighting these as avenues that could compromise the overall safety and national interest of the country.
Can the government stop BGMI from releasing in India?
The short and direct answer to this question is no. According to a recent report, developers do not need the approval of government authorities to launch a game in India. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and MEITY can take a call to ban a game or app if it does not comply with the country’s rules and regulations. Krafton has made announcements of complying with the local regulations. The recent data-sharing debacle though could bring it under the scanner.
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