Krafton’s BGMI gets Indian government nod after 3-month trial

Krafton resumed the operations of its popular battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) on a three-month trial basis in May 2023.vAfter making a comeback in May 2023, BGMI has once again topped the list of highest-grossing Android apps in India

After passing a three-month audit, South Korean gaming giant Krafton is said to have gotten full government approval in India to run its well-known battle royale game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), according to persons acquainted with the situation who spoke to Moneycontrol. One of the top-grossing games in the nation is expected to benefit from this action.

Sources said the game will now be subjected to quarterly assessments. Moneycontrol has reached out to Krafton regarding this matter and will update the story as soon as we hear back.

This move comes after Free Fire, a rival battle royale game from Singapore tech giant Sea’s gaming arm Garena, also made a comeback to the country after being suspended for about one and a half years.

Crafton's big statement on the return of BGMI, may get good news in 2023 -  Gearrice

Krafton secured an approval from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to resume the India-only app BGMI on a three-month trial basis in May 2023. The move came nearly 10 months after the game was suspended from Google Play and Apple App Store following a government order.

On May 19, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the trial approval came after the game complied with issues of server locations and data security among others. “We will keep a close watch on other issues of User harm, addiction, etc. in the next 3 months before a final decision is taken,” he said at the time.

Prior to their respective suspensions last year, BGMI and Free Fire were two of the most profitable Android applications in the nation. BGMI has once again topped the list of the top-grossing Android apps in India on the Google Play Store after making a comeback in May 2023. The app’s annual income is estimated by several industry leaders to be close to $100 million.

Garena also appears to have taken a page from Krafton’s playbook and introduced an India-exclusive app ‘Free Fire India’ that will be available for download from September 5. The company also continues to offer the more premium variant ‘Free Fire Max’ that was not suspended by the Indian authorities.

Garena has partnered with Yotta, a Hiranandani Group company and a MeitY empanelled cloud service provider, for local cloud hosting and storage infrastructure for Free Fire India. Yotta will manage the personal data of Indian users on local servers and network connectivity services to support Garena’s product offerings in India, including in esports, the company said.

BGMI 2.5 update: Battlegrounds Mobile India servers to go LIVE today |  Gaming News

Garena has also signed an agreement with the Uttar Pradesh government to drive the development of esports in India.Meanwhile, Krafton has invested about $140 million to back local startups in India’s gaming and interactive entertainment sector over the past couple of years and has pledged an additional investment of $150 million over the next two to three years.

India has been dubbed as the fastest-growing games market in Asia, both in terms of revenue and gamers, with its mobile and PC gaming revenue projected to have reached $704.5 million in 2022, according to Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm that covers video games, e-sports, and streaming in the continent.

This is set to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 21.1 percent to touch $1.4 billion in 2026. This does not include revenue generated by real money games, the firm said.

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