BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India), the India-specific PUBG Mobile alternative, suffered the same fate as its global variant after being blocked in the country by the Indian government. At first, only sources confirmed the ban. While citing security and privacy issues with the game, the real reason behind the government's decision was unknown.
However, the Indian government's official statement surfaced online recently when one Twitter user, @godyamarajop, posted screenshots of to RTI shared (right to information) submissions to the BGMI ban. The response to the request revealed the official reason for the game's ban and at the same time confirmed the government's meeting with Krafton's representative.
RTI response from government authorities reveals the official reason behind the ban on BGMI
The concerned Twitter user had two questions about the Battlegrounds Mobile India ban. In response, authorities indicated that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) blocked gambling in the country.
Based on the response:
"MeitY has the authority to issue instructions to block access to information to be provided by the public pursuant to Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The due process to be followed is defined in Information Technology Rules
(Procedures and safeguards for barring access to information by the public), 2009".3
However, the reason for the decision was based on a request from the MHA (Department of Home Affairs), as reflected in RTI's response:
"Based on requests made by the Node Officers appointed by the Department of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) have blocked the Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) gaming application under Section 69A of the Technology Act of Information (IT) 2000 and Information Act
Technology (Procedures and safeguards for blocking access to information by the Public) Rules, 2009".
Therefore, the official statement mentions that the main reasons for the ban are national security and user privacy.
Recent influencer reactions to the BGMI ban
Although the government's RTI response hasn't garnered much attention from esports personalities in India, many influencers have their opinions commented on the ban of the game. Here are some of the quotes and reactions from key stakeholders:
In one of their recent live streams, Scout talked about Battlegrounds Mobile India getting banned and coming back. While excited for the game's return, Scout wasn't overly positive, continuing to say:
"We want a lot of things, but we can hardly get them. Be patient. Even I want BGMI to come back but it's not coming back now. It will take some time, but it will be back soon."
Scout asked his fans for patience regarding the return of Battlegrounds Mobile India. Skyesports CEO Shiva Nandy
Skyesports CEO Shiva Nandy has been quite active and positive in commenting on the game's return, so his recent opinions didn't differ that much from the past. Shiva wrote in one of her recent Instagram stories:
"Since so many of you write to me often, I can't reply to each one individually. I'll be posting everything you ask soon if comes through. But no." Don't panic.
Scout might be right. The game may not arrive until December, but it will."
Besides Shiva, another important figure in the Indian esports ecosystem, Kuldeep Lather, has also shared his positive opinion on the return of BGMI. Readers can find Villager Esports CEO's thoughts as follows:
"BGMI will definitely return. When and in what form is unknown."