Gaming firms ask Indian PM Modi for ‘uniform and fair treatment for all’ after BGMI ban – TechCrunch

A group of gaming companies in India has called on 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 incident”, saying such “arbitrary decisions go against established principles and will deny opportunities to an entire generation of youth in India.”

The letter, signed by the founders of Outlier Games, Story Pix, Lucid Labs, Roach Interactive, Godspeed Games, Uniplay Digital and four other firms, says India has “significantly lagged in creating talented entrepreneurs” and global gaming giants have taken a “long-term vision ” about promoting the local ecosystem.

“While capital and infrastructure are essential for the survival and development of the industry, the leading global video game companies with their experience and next-generation technology are needed to establish a robust gaming ecosystem in India. Therefore, we seek uniform and fair treatment of all entities operating in India ,” added the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by TechCrunch.

India banned South Korean giant Krafton’s Battlegrounds Mobile India late last month. Before the ban, BGMI had collected over 100 million registered users in the country. Reuters reported that the country blocked the title exercising Section 69A of the local IT Act and over concerns that it shared data with China.

The development followed rising tensions between India and China, two nuclear-armed neighbors who have been particularly at loggerheads since deadly clashes along the Himalayan border in 2020.

India has responded to the move by banning over 300 China-linked apps, including PUBG and TikTok, both of which counted India as their biggest foreign market of users. Of the hundreds of apps that New Delhi has banned in the country, Krafton’s PUBG was the only title to return – albeit with a completely revamped avatar.

“There is a greater need for a clear set of standards and framework to ensure fairness and uniformity for all stakeholders. The industry wishes to proactively engage with the authorities to form a robust set of video game-centric policies based on global best practices,” the letter added.

“This will go a long way in creating an enabling and favorable environment that facilitates the growth of the video game industry so that the industry can compete globally. We request your urgent intervention in the matter and seek your advice and guidance to work towards a more comprehensive dialogue and discussion in the future.”

The prime minister’s office did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.

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