A recent report obtained by The Esports Advocate written by South Korean financial services company Samsung Securities (a subsidiary of Seoul-based Samsung Group) claims that Battlegrounds Mobile India (BMGI)—a market-specific adaptation of Krafton’s Battle Royale hit PUBG Mobile—will return in the second quarter of 2023. BMGI was a product of the Indian government banning PUBG Mobile due to user data security concerns in September 2020 and Krafton planning a relaunch in India under the PUBG Mobile India brand in November 2020 after registering an Indian subsidiary. The game was eventually released on May 6, 2021, as BMGI.
However, the Indian government also issued a ban on BMGI on July 28, 2022, over data-sharing concerns and removed the game from Google Play and the Apple App Store. Ever since, players, esports team owners, content creators, and more within the India esports ecosystem have almost continuously claimed on a daily basis that the game would be returning “soon,” but this new report from Samsung Securities is the first time a major global financial analyst has weighed in on the topic.
An excerpt from the report released earlier this month, and attributed to Samsung Securities Senior Analyst Donghwan Oh (who has been covering internet/game/payment sectors for the firm for more than 12 years), reads:
“PUBG Mobile India expected to resume in Q2: The company expects PUBG Mobile’s India (BGMI) service, which was suspended in July 2022, to resume from Q2. BGMI recorded sales of around KRW 30 billion in the quarter before the service was discontinued, so when the game resumes, it is expected to contribute to a rebound in mobile sales. However, as the company is refraining from marketing in the early stages to avoid provoking the Indian government, sales are expected to gradually normalize.”
TEA could not independently verify the veracity of the claims in the report—as of this writing—nor can we determine what sources analysts at the company relied on to come to this conclusion.
TEA has reached out to Samsung Securities for more detailed information on the report, and what the firm based its conclusions on.
We will update this story should more information become available.