Game firms request India PM Modi ‘uniform and fair treatment to all’ following BGMI ban – TechCrunch
A group of game companies in India has requested Prime Minister Modi to offer a “uniform and fair treatment” to all entities operating in the South Asian market weeks after the country banned Krafton’s BGMI title.
In a letter to Modi this month, the group described the ban on Battlegrounds Mobile India as an “unfortunate event,” and said such “arbitrary decisions run counter to established principles and will deny opportunities to an entire generation of youth in India.”
The letter, signed by founders of Outlier Games, Story Pix, Lucid Labs, Roach Interactive, Goodspeed Games, Uniplay Digital and four other firms, says India has been “lagging considerably in creating high skilled entrepreneurs” and global gaming giants have taken a “long-term vision” on fostering the local ecosystem.
“While capital and infrastructure are critical to the survival and development of the industry, the leading global video gaming companies with their experience and next-generation technology are needed for establishing a robust gaming eco-system in India. Therefore, we seek a uniform and fair treatment of all entities operating in India,” added the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by TechCrunch.
India banned Krafton’s Battlegrounds Mobile India late last month. Prior to the ban, BGMI had amassed over 100 million registered in the country. Reuters reported that the country blocked the title exercising section 69A of the local IT law and over concerns that it was sharing data with China.
The development followed a growing tension between India and China, two nuclear-armed neighboring nations that have been especially at odds since deadly skirmishes along the Himalayan border in 2020.
India has reacted to the move by banning over 300 China-linked apps including PUBG and TikTok, both of which counted India as their largest overseas market by users. Of the hundreds of apps that New Delhi has banned in the country, Krafton’s PUBG was the only title that had made a return — though with a completely revamped avatar.
“There is a greater need for a clear set of standards and framework to ensure fairness and uniformity to all stakeholders. The industry wishes to proactively engage with the government in forming a robust set of video games-centric policies based on global best practices,” the letter adds.
“This will go a long way in creating an enabling and conducive environment which facilitates the growth of the video game industry allowing the industry to compete globally. We request your urgent intervention in the matter and seek your counsel and guidance on working towards a more comprehensive dialogue and discussion in the future.”
The Prime Minister office did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.