BGMI players woke up to the harsh reality that the game is no longer available to download on both Android and iOS. Almost two years after its sibling PUBG Mobile was banned in India, we are witnessing something similar happen again. The game has vanished from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store and the govt hasn’t come out with a formal explanation for this. Reportedly, it has been banned under the same laws as PUBG Mobile in 2020. Also Read - BGMI ban confirmed: Check alternatives on Google Play Store and Apple App Store
The battle royale game format is an important part of the Indian eSports ecosystem with an almost unrivaled viewership. The absence of BGMI on Apple Apple Store and Google Play Store in India has surprised many stakeholders in the eSports world. Also Read - BGMI Ban: Reasons why Indian govt may have banned BGMI just one year after its launch
Here’s what they have to say about the govt’s decision to remove BGMI from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Also Read - Battlegrounds Mobile India removed from Google Play Store, Apple App Store following government order
Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) claims its still too early to comment on the situation without a clarification from the govt.
Suji said, “India is paving its path to becoming a multi-sport nation where every sport is getting the right visibility, audience and investment to grow. We have to reflect the same in Esports where we need to start giving exposure to multi Esports titles and not limited to one.”
He further emphasised on the need to have in-house Indian games for the eSports ecosystem to grow. He added, “With so much attention on every front including the government, It’s also high time our Indian Video game developers speed up the process to launch world-class esports video game titles.”
Vishwalok Nath, Director, Esports Premier League said, “We are yet to receive an official statement from the Government on the reason behind the removal of the game from the Play Store and App Store. This is between the publisher and the government and we hope this issue will be resolved soon. For ESPL, it’s a wait-and-watch time to take further decisions.”
Rohit Jagasia, the Founder & CEO of Revenant Esports said, “The BGMI BAN will definitely be a setback for all major stakeholders like Tournament Organizations, Esports Teams, Coaches, Support Staff and most importantly the Athletes. However, at Revenant Esports, we will still be supporting our BGMI Athletes and make sure they use our training facility to create content and try their hand at different games. With that being said, the entire industry will take a hit”
Revenant has been working on diversification to avoid such issues. They still have rosters competing in Pokémon Unite which will be representing India at the World Championship in London, Call of Duty Mobile which will be playing the regional playoffs for the World Championship, Apex Legends that previously represented the SEA region in the ALGS Playoffs in Stockholm, Valorant that is currently playing a couple of regional tournaments.
Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, The Gamer’s Social Network said, “As the official statement is yet to come on the removal of the game, if this game removal will stay for some time then it will be damaging to the ever-growing Indian esports ecosystem. It’s not just about one game but with the kind of popularity, player base and viewership BGMI has, it is leading the biggest esports title in India.
Nair further described the impact of the ban on the eSports ecosystem. He said, “Looking at it from a sports lens, although we are a multi-sport nation, cricket enjoys the biggest chunk of revenue and viewership source in our country. This potential stay will hamper the whole esports ecosystem – consumers, businesses, stakeholders, jobs and much more. There is a large investment riding on startups, tournaments and game streaming, it’s a trickle effect waiting to happen.”