Krafton officially launches Battlegrounds Mobile in India to repeat PUBG success

Pune:Battlegrounds Mobile India, the local version of popular PUBG Mobile, was officially launched on Friday, a few weeks after it was made available for early access to a few users.

South Korea’s Krafton Inc., the publisher of Battlegrounds and PUBG Mobile, said the game is now available for download on the Google Play Store in India. Almost 40 million signed up for the game since pre-registrations opened on May 14.

“This is just the beginning of a series of new content, collaborations and esports tournaments coming your way, and we will strive to ensure that our fans and community in India can fully enjoy the battlegrounds experiences,” said Krafton CEO CH Kim said while announcing the launch of the game.

PlayersUnknown Battlegrounds, or PUBG Mobile, was among hundreds of Chinese apps that India banned last year amid a border standoff with its northern neighbour in Ladakh. China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. was the publisher of the mobile game in India.

The China headache resurfaced less than a fortnight ago after reports that Battlegrounds could be sending data of Indian players to servers in Beijing. In response, Krafton said it had shared game data of Indian users with third parties but that did not violate its privacy policy.

Meanwhile, the gaming industry welcomed the official launch.

“With the latest launch, we can envision that the gaming community will thrive and we can expect to see more exclusive multiplayer games being curated for the Indian market,” said Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India. “It also supports our vision that India will become the next powerhouse in esports.”

According to Tarun Gupta, founder of esports platform Ultimate Battle, the first reactions from both professionals and casual gamers will be critical as this will reflect on the overall acceptance of the game in India.

“It’s also important to mention that the expectations of the esports community from BGMI are really high. We’ll also be looking into adding BGMI to the All India Esports league, which will be launched this month,” he said.

India was the biggest market for PUBG Mobile, according to data from Sensor Tower, but it got banned just as casual gamers started making a career out of live streaming their gaming sessions. Battlegrounds aims to bring these content creators back into its fold.

“For the gaming and esports content creators, it will be a new route to explore more new content and also engage with the new set of followers of Battlegrounds Mobile India,” said Abhishek Aggarwal, CEO of Trinity Gaming, a talent management firm.

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