Connect with us
SOFTSWISS

Asia

Inside the Battlegrounds Mobile India ban, and the impact on India’s mobile games market

Published

on

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The Indian government requested Apple and Google to remove Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) from their app stores on July 28th, one year after it launched in the country. Our research shows that the popular battle royale game, published by South Korean firm Krafton, is no longer available for download. The request comes in the wake of several allegations made against the game for being a rebranded version of PUBG Mobile, which was banned in September 2020 due to national security concerns. These concerns were recently raised in the Indian Parliament, with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) stating that BGMI was a different app to PUBG Mobile, suggesting it was not a national security concern. It’s unclear what changed to cause MeitY to pull the app.

While the government has not issued a statement to confirm the game is permanently banned, Reuters reported that the title was pulled by MeitY using Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the same act that was used to justify the ban of 321 mobile apps since June 2020. BGMI is the 57th game pulled due to this regulation. The bans have primarily targeted mobile apps from China, primarily citing national security risks. BGMI’s takedown comes just 5 months after the ban of Garena Free Fire, the most popular battle royale game in India until then.

Krafton launched BGMI after PUBG Mobile was banned

MeitY originally banned PUBG Mobile in September 2020 due to national security and data privacy issues following, though not necessarily as a result of border tensions with China. While the PUBG IP is owned by Krafton, PUBG Mobile was developed and published in India by Chinese gaming giant Tencent. At the time of its ban, PUBG Mobile was the #1 game in India by both revenue and downloads and had been a key driver of mobile gaming growth in the country. The ban had a profound impact on the battle royale segment and broader gaming ecosystem, with the unserved demand satiated by Garena Free Fire over time.

Krafton announced in November 2020 that it would bring its core battle royale experience back to India, with BGMI launching in July 2021. Krafton fully committed to the Indian market by self-publishing the title, introducing local servers to store user data securely and in country, and by announcing it would invest over US$100 million in the Indian gaming, esports, entertainment and IT industries, which it has done. The game saw significantly high uptake at launch given the popularity of battle royale games in the country, with 40 million registrations prior to launch and 16 million daily active users in its first 10 days.

BGMI had over 100 million downloads in its first year

BGMI has been a huge success for Krafton and the title was on track to reach the 200 million download mark that PUBG Mobile had achieved prior to its September 2020 ban. The title had quickly become the #2 highest grossing mobile game in India and its 2022 revenue was set to exceed that of PUBG Mobile’s peak year. BGMI has also become the leading esports title in India with Krafton investing heavily in the space to set up the Battlegrounds Mobile India Pro Series, an official league for Indian teams with a prize pool of US$260,000.

According to Niko’s Asia Esports Tracker, BGMI is the #1 title by prize pool in India, with its total 2022 prize pool accounting for 35% of total prize pool revenue for all local and regional esports tournaments. The game also saw massive endorsement from streamers, esports organizations, and teams with high participation across key events. The BGMI Masters Series LAN event was also the first tournament to be televised live on Indian TV, reaching 12.3 million viewers.

How this impacts India’s mobile game market

If BGMI does not return to app stores, we believe it may have a material impact on the short-term growth rate of India’s mobile game market and the esports ecosystem. Battle royale is the most popular mobile game genre by player spending in India according to data from Sensor Tower, accounting for over 1/3 of total mobile game spending in 2021. BGMI and Free Fire accounted for over 95% of total spend on mobile battle royale games in 2021 and H1 2022, but both titles have been removed from app stores this year. However, Niko’s research shows that Free Fire MAX, a high-end version of Free Fire from Garena, remains available on Google Play. It’s unclear how MAX is still operating on Google Play, but the MAX version was not specifically included in the ban list where Free Fire was banned.

There will also be a negative impact on the broader BGMI ecosystem, especially within esports and live streaming. Everyday players will now be looking for a new title to play, and we expect most to shift over to Free Fire MAX assuming the title continues to operate. Call of Duty: Mobile (Activision Blizzard) may also benefit given its strong position in the market as an established shooter game with a battle royale mode that consistently ranks in the top ten game revenue chart. Apex Legends Mobile (Electronic Arts), New State (Krafton – Title was formerly PUBG New State) and Farlight 84 (Lilith Games) are core battle royale games that may also benefit, but we note that these titles are not as established as Call of Duty Mobile and Free Fire MAX.

Asia

AGTech Wins Lottery Terminal Supply Tenders for Shaanxi, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces

Published

on

Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Lottery and integrated technology and services company AGTech Holdings Limited (AGTech) has announced that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries has successfully won procurement tenders to supply lottery terminals to Sports Lottery Administration Centres in Shaanxi province, Zhejiang province and Jiangsu province of the People’s Republic of China.

AGTech already has previous success in the China market, having won a bid in 2018 for supplying its new dual, touchscreen lottery terminals to the Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Shanghai and Hebei.

Even before this, AGTech introduced new instant win games, launched in partnership with Chinese logistics firm SF Holdings across Shenzen, Nanchang, Changsha and Nanjing.

Continue Reading

Asia

Philippine President Marcos Announces Ban on POGOs

Published

on

Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has banned the establishment of any new Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), also known as Internet Gaming Licensees (IGLs), with immediate effect. Existing POGO operators will have until the end of the year to wind down their operations.

The verdict, not entirely unexpected, was delivered during his State of the Nation Address in Manila on Monday following widespread pressure from a Senate investigation into illegal POGO-linked activities.

“Effective today, all POGOs are banned. I hereby instruct [gaming regulator] PAGCOR to wind down and cease the operations of POGOs by the end of the year,” Marcos said in his SONA.

The decision to shut down POGOs follows a series of recent raids on illegal POGO compounds in Pampanga and Tarlac amid allegations they had been engaging in human trafficking and scam activities.

A full ban, proposed by multiple senators, had also gained the support of the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic and Development Authority.

Continue Reading

Asia

VSPO Chairman Dino Ying Named Member of the Asian Games Esports Task Force

Published

on

Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

VSPO chairman and co-founder Dino Ying has been appointed as one of the three members of the esports title selection task force for the 20th Asian Games in 2026.

The mandate of the task force is “to select and recommend for approval” titles that will be featured at the 20th Asian Games, according to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Hideki Okamura from Japan and Mr. Carlos Tang Jiahe from Hong Kong are the two other members of the task force.

Earlier this year, Ying was already elected as a member of the OCA’s first Esports and E Martial Art Committee.

VSPO, Asia’s largest esports operator, has played a key role in making esports’ entry into the Asian Games a reality. VSPO was the operator for the esports series at both Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games where esports became first a demonstration sport and later a medal sport.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Alpha Affiliates
Advertisement

EveryMatrix

Advertisement

Launch your iGaming business swiftly and effortlessly with our comprehensive turnkey solutions

Advertisement
Stake.com
Advertisement
xbit4.com

Trending (Top 7)

Get it on Google Play

EuropeanGaming.eu is a premier online platform that serves as a leading information hub for the gaming and gambling industry. This industry-centric media outlet reaches over 200,000 readers monthly, providing them with compelling content, the latest news, and deep-dive insights.

Offering comprehensive coverage on all aspects of the gaming sector, EuropeanGaming.eu includes online and land-based gaming, betting, esports, regulatory and compliance updates, and technological advancements. Regular features encompass daily news articles, press releases, exclusive interviews, and insightful event reports.

The platform also hosts industry-relevant virtual meetups and conferences, and provides detailed reports, making it a one-stop resource for anyone seeking information about operators, suppliers, regulators, and professional services in the European gaming market. The portal's primary goal is to keep its extensive reader base updated on the latest happenings, trends, and developments within the gaming and gambling sector, with an emphasis on the European market while also covering pertinent global news. It's an indispensable resource for gaming professionals, operators, and enthusiasts alike.

Contact us: [email protected]

Editorial / PR Submissions: [email protected]

Copyright © 2015 - 2024 - European Gaming is part of HIPTHER. Registered in Romania under Proshirt SRL, Company number: 2134306, EU VAT ID: RO21343605. Office address: Blvd. 1 Decembrie 1918 nr.5, Targu Mures, Romania

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.