Google and Apple have pulled the popular mobile game Battlegrounds Mobile India, more popularly known as BGMI, from their respective app stores in India following an order from the Indian government, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, a year after developer Krafton launched the app following a ban on similar title PUBG in the South Asian market.
In a statement to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson confirmed: “On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India.”
The app was delisted by Google from the Play Store and Apple from the App Store in India Thursday evening. The iPhone-maker didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The development follows a growing tension between India and China, two nuclear-armed neighboring nations following a deadly skirmishes along the Himalayan border in 2020. India reacted by banning hundreds of China-linked apps including PUBG and TikTok.
Of those hundreds of apps, Krafton’s Pubg is the only title that has made a return in India — though with a completely revamped avatar. Krafton cut ties with its publishing partner Tencent and pledged to invest $100 million in India’s gaming ecosystem. In an interview with TechCrunch earlier this week, the company said it was on track to deploy over $140 million by end of next month.
A Krafton spokesperson in India had no comment Thursday evening.
The company said earlier this week that over 100 million users had signed up for the game in India. According to Sensor Tower, BGMI had over 16.5 million monthly active users in the country.
This is a developing story…