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Battlegrounds Mobile India’s in-game battle-pass disappears from app

BGMI, tags: battlegrounds mobile in-game battle-pass - CC BY-SA

After Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was previously banned in the country, the app’s in-game battle-pass has now disappeared.

BGMI was removed from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in July by the Indian government, but the in-game servers remained still operational, and players could still play the Nights of the Fables Royale Pass M14, which was only available in-game.

However, starting a few days ago, Indian players were unable to purchase the Elite Pass for the upcoming season because the upgrade button in the RP section was not functioning properly.

Every time users attempt to download in-game currency, the message “The purchase was unsuccessful because the item could not be located. Please try again later” appears.

KRAFTON, Inc. India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn has since issued a statement, saying that the developers are in discussions with the appropriate authorities to solve the problem. He asserted that the company had always complied with all rules and regulations.

Skyesports CEO Shiva Nandy said the removal was not an immediate action and had been planned for several months. He also said the ban would only be temporary.

Banning BGMI

The Indian government has banned BGMI under Section 69A of the IT Act. PUBG Mobile was also banned in 2020 under the same section.

BGMI, developed by KRAFTON in South Korea, received 5 million downloads within the first few hours of its release in 2020 and 30 million downloads within the first week.

“We fully respect and understand the Indian government’s concern and as we have been directly running the service based on stringent data security standards and monitoring,” KRAFTON, Inc. CEO Bar Dong-Geun said regarding the ban.

“We will closely cooperate with the authorities to find ways for the users in India to keep enjoying BGMI. In the second quarter, we broadened the user base through our own and offline collaborations in the local market, and expanded monetized content offerings, providing a battle royale experience unique to BGMI.”

BGMI had over 100 million users in the country and was on track to surpass PUBG Mobile, which had around 200 million players. It was the second highest-grossing game in India.

BGMI was also India’s most popular esports title. It had the largest prize pool, accounting for 35 percent of total prize pool revenue in the country.

Furthermore, it was also the most popular source of viewership, with many tournaments attracting millions of people.

Ban on PUBG Mobile

In 2020, the government of India banned PUBG Mobile, along with 117 other Chinese applications, for demonstrating a threat to national security.

Since then, the developers have tried to reintroduce themselves to the Indian market by transferring ownership of the app from Tencent Games in China to Krafton.

According to a report published in 2021, BGMI data from Android users were sent to its servers in China.

Several Indian officials expressed their concerns about this scenario and called for the game to be banned.

KRAFTON, Inc addressed the problem by improving the game’s privacy management, data transfer, and child safety systems.