South Korean gamer publisher Krafton announced Friday that it has received government approval to restart operations around its popular mobile game, Battlegrounds Mobile India (a custom version of PUBG Mobile developed specifically for India after the game was banned) in the country sometime later this year—precise timing and other conditions tied to the game when it launches were not disclosed in the announcement. The game, along with a number of other game titles and apps such as Garena’s Free Fire, was banned over national security concerns by the India government last year. Rumors about its imminent return have been non-stop since that ban in 2022.
In a statement issued Friday the company said that the game would be returning “soon” and that it is strongly encouraging BGMI players ” to prioritize their well-being and follow responsible gaming practices,” indicating that there may be limits on playtime for younger players, among other restrictions by the government, including a probationary period for the game.
Also in the official statement announcing the game’s return, Krafton India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn said the following: “We are highly grateful to the Indian authorities for allowing us to resume operations of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI). We would like to extend our gratitude to our Indian gaming community for their support and patience over the past few months. We are excited to announce that BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA will be available for download soon and we cannot wait to welcome you back to our platform. We believe in the power of gaming to bring people together and create unforgettable experiences. We are committed to delivering exceptional products and services to our users in India and beyond, and we look forward to continuing our journey with you.”
The return of Battlegrounds Mobile India is a big deal to the entire esports ecosystem in India due to its massive popularity amongst fans and players but there is a legitimate concern that the Indian government could—for whatever reasons it chooses to–ban BGMI for a third time.
This is a developing story…