Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), an intellectual property of the renowned gaming holding company KRAFTON, faced an unexpected ban in India in July 2022. At its peak, BGMI boasted nearly 100 million users and almost 130 million downloads on Google Play Store, making it a central pillar of the gaming landscape in India. The ban was instigated due to national security concerns, leading to a sudden removal of the game from major app stores. This unforeseen event sent ripples across the gaming community, especially given that KRAFTON had invested nearly $100 million into India since 2020, including substantial investments into streaming platform Loco and game developer Nodwin Gaming.
The ban that had shaken the Indian gaming community was finally lifted in 2023, marking a crucial turning point for the future of gaming in India. The government’s decision to revoke the ban and grant a three-month trial approval signaled a potential shift in the perspective towards gaming and its significance in the Indian entertainment landscape. The news of the unbanning was greeted with a palpable excitement, and a post on KRAFTON’s Instagram announcing the return garnered millions of likes, indicating a robust anticipation for return of BGMI.
This article will delve into the implications of BGMI’s ban and its subsequent unbanning, examining the impact on the gaming community and the broader gaming industry in India. We will also explore KRAFTON’s strategy in India post-unban, considering their prior actions and potential future endeavors. By the end, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of how return of BGMI might shape the future of the Indian gaming landscape.
Impact of BGMI’s Ban
The news of BGMI’s ban in July 2022 spread like wildfire across India’s gaming community, causing a wave of shock and disbelief. This game, which had almost 100 million users and nearly 130 million downloads at its peak, was suddenly inaccessible. In gaming servers across the country, the rumor mill churned with speculation and unease. The tactical shooter game, a significant intellectual property of video game holding company KRAFTON, was abruptly delisted from Google Play Store and Apple App Store, leaving players in the lurch. Government officials cited national security concerns, a reason that was met with a mix of skepticism and concern among the gaming community.
Despite this setback, many players displayed a tenacious spirit. Streamers like Thacker, who had a substantial subscriber base of over a million, continued to stream BGMI games using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass the geo-restriction. This workaround wasn’t new to many; it was a strategy adopted when PUBG: Battlegrounds, the game’s previous iteration, was banned in 2020. The decision to continue streaming despite the ban highlighted the passionate commitment of the gaming community to BGMI and the lengths they would go to keep playing their beloved game.
The ban was a significant turning point for the Indian gaming industry. It not only impacted the daily routine of millions of players but also disrupted the growing gaming ecosystem in the country. KRAFTON’s considerable investments in India, including significant contributions to streaming platform Loco and game developer Nodwin Gaming, further underscored the high stakes of the ban and the vast implications it held for the future of the gaming industry.
Measures Taken by Players to Continue Playing BGMI
In the face of the ban, BGMI players were forced to explore alternative solutions to keep their streak going. Some players, like Vikky, a professional esports player, transitioned to rival battle royale games like COD Mobile, which offered similar opportunities. However, the loyalty to BGMI remained, with many expressing their willingness to return to the game once it was available again.
The ban on BGMI created a significant void in the Indian gaming industry. This absence opened doors for other titles to gain ground and capture the attention of BGMI’s massive player base. In an attempt to regain its footing, KRAFTON, the parent company of BGMI, launched a new title called Road to Valor: Empires. This game was designed with the Indian community in mind, featuring India-specific content and updates, including support for the Hindi language. The intention was to recreate the immersive gaming experience that BGMI offered and fill the gap left by its absence.
While other game titles enjoyed a momentary surge in popularity, the appeal of BGMI was irreplaceable. Players reminisced about the unique elements of BGMI that made it stand out from other games, from its intricate gameplay mechanics to its engaging community activities. The longing for BGMI was evident in the gaming community, signaling a robust player loyalty that few other games could match.
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Moreover, the ban had a ripple effect on related gaming platforms and industries. Streaming platforms saw a decrease in BGMI content, and esports tournaments had to put competitions on hold, significantly affecting the gaming ecosystem’s dynamism and vibrancy.
The effect of BGMI’s ban extended beyond immediate player disappointment. It reshaped the gaming landscape in India, led to new strategies by gaming companies, and emphasized the critical role of popular games like BGMI in driving the growth and engagement in the Indian gaming industry.
How Return of BGMI will shape the Indian Gaming Industry
The return of BGMI news in 2023 was met with a surge of enthusiasm from the Indian gaming community. The government’s decision to revoke the ban and grant a three-month trial approval signaled a potential shift in the attitude towards the game and the broader gaming industry. KRAFTON’s Instagram post announcing the return attracted two million likes, reflecting the community’s eagerness for the game’s return. Subsequent posts garnered even more attention, with a recent post reaching five million likes. Streamers who no longer posted content about BGMI saw a 3X spike in viewership as fans began rewatching older BGMI streams, further demonstrating the anticipation for the game’s return.
With BGMI’s ban lifted in 2023, industry experts and gamers are eagerly predicting the potential changes this could bring to the Indian gaming industry. One of the most significant expectations is the substantial boost return of BGMI could provide to an already thriving gaming market in India. According to a report by Lumikai, a gaming and interactive media-focused fund, the domestic gaming market is expected to experience an impressive surge from $2.6 billion in 2022 to an estimated $8.6 billion by 2027. This growth represents a compounded annual growth rate of 27%, demonstrating the high potential of the gaming industry in India.
Return of BGMI is expected to contribute significantly to this predicted growth. The game’s previous success, with nearly 100 million users and nearly 130 million downloads at its peak, indicates its profound impact on the Indian gaming scene. With the ban lifted, BGMI is expected to regain its footing and continue to be a driving force in the gaming industry, attracting millions of players back to its servers and potentially boosting the gaming market’s overall growth.
In addition to its economic impact, the return of BGMI is also expected to bring about significant shifts in the competitive gaming scene. With former players eager to return to the game and participate in tournaments that were previously put on hold, the competitive esports scene in India is poised to experience a revival. This could potentially lead to increased participation in esports tournaments, a resurgence of BGMI streaming content, and a renewed interest in the game from sponsors and investors.
The lifting of the BGMI ban, therefore, is not just a win for the players but also a positive sign for the broader Indian gaming industry. It is a testament to the resilience of the gaming community and a promising indication of the potential growth and development of the gaming industry in the coming years.
The excitement about return of BGMI extends to players and tournament organizers alike. Players like Vikky, a professional esports player, expressed their anticipation for the game’s return and their eagerness to participate in esports tournaments that were previously postponed due to the ban. On the other hand, tournament organizers are optimistic about BGMI’s return, with some considering hosting BGMI tournaments once again. This highlights the significant role of BGMI in the Indian esports landscape and the potential for the game’s return to rejuvenate the competitive gaming scene.
KRAFTON’s Strategy in India Post return of BGMI
Before the ban, KRAFTON had made substantial investments in India. Recognizing the growing potential of the Indian gaming market, the company had invested nearly $100 million into the country since 2020. This included significant investments into the streaming platform Loco and the game developer Nodwin Gaming, marking KRAFTON’s commitment to bolstering the gaming ecosystem in India.
Furthermore, KRAFTON had shown its resilience and adaptability in response to the ban on BGMI. Despite the setback, the company launched a new title, Road to Valor: Empires, designed specifically for the Indian community, complete with India-specific content and updates. This move demonstrated KRAFTON’s intent to maintain its foothold in the Indian gaming market despite the challenges.
Following the unbanning of BGMI, expectations from KRAFTON are high. The gaming community is keenly anticipating the company’s next steps, given BGMI’s previous popularity and the game’s significant impact on the Indian gaming industry. The initial reaction to the unbanning has been overwhelmingly positive, indicating a strong demand for the game’s return.
In the short term, KRAFTON will likely focus on re-establishing BGMI’s presence in the Indian gaming market. This could involve re-engaging with players, streamers, and esports organizations, and potentially hosting BGMI tournaments once again. In the long term, the company will likely work towards retaining BGMI’s presence beyond the initial three-month trial period granted by the government. Given the game’s significant role in the Indian gaming market and the market’s projected growth, retaining BGMI’s presence will be crucial for KRAFTON.
KRAFTON’s strategy post-unban has significant implications for the future of the gaming industry in India. The company’s actions could influence the development of the gaming ecosystem in the country, including the growth of esports, game streaming, and game development sectors. The return of BGMI, backed by KRAFTON’s commitment, could boost the gaming industry’s growth, attract more investments, and create more opportunities for gamers and gaming professionals in the country. It could also serve as a model for other game developers navigating regulatory challenges and market uncertainties, providing valuable lessons on resilience, adaptability, and commitment to the gaming community.
Final thoughts on Return of BGMI and its effect on gaming industry
The unbanning of BGMI in 2023 marked a significant moment in the Indian gaming industry. This decision came as a relief to millions of BGMI players and brought renewed hope for the industry’s growth. return of BGMI has the potential to reignite the gaming scene, as the game had nearly 100 million users and nearly 130 million downloads at its peak. The lifting of the ban is not just a win for the players but also a positive sign for the broader Indian gaming industry.
KRAFTON’s role in this situation cannot be understated. Their investments, resilience, and commitment to the Indian gaming market have been instrumental in return of BGMI. Post-unban, their strategy will likely involve re-establishing BGMI’s presence, retaining it beyond the initial three-month trial period, and engaging with the gaming community and stakeholders. These actions will have significant implications for the future of the Indian gaming industry.
Looking ahead, the future of the Indian gaming industry appears promising. With return of BGMI and the anticipated growth of the gaming market, there are opportunities for increased investment, the development of esports, game streaming, and game development sectors. Return of BGMI story serves as a testament to the resilience of the gaming community and a promising indication of the potential growth and development of the gaming industry in the coming years.
You can start playing BGMI from today. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store using the following links: