Battlegrounds Mobile India, the rebranded version of the erstwhile PUBG Mobile, has inched closer to launch ahead of its speculated June 18 launch date. News18 can confirm from various sources that Battlegrounds Mobile India is now indeed available for download, but only for a select number of early access beta testers of the game, who had signed up to play the beta version prior to a public rollout of the game. The beta has gone live since early morning today, June 17, but for most, the game only shows the pre-registration prompt at the moment. Now, a Krafton spokesperson has confirmed that early access for beta testers of the game is now live.
The Krafton spokesperson has also confirmed that any gameplay progress made in the early-access beta will also be carried over to the stable game, once launched. However, there still is no confirmation on the public launch date. Given that early access beta programmes are typically launched at least a week or more ahead of public launches, it would be unlikely if Krafton decides to launch the game for all on June 18, within a day of initiating early access for the game. Krafton has also confirmed that the number of early access slots will be steadily increased through the day, and the same can be downloaded from here.
Battlegrounds Mobile India has seen considerable interest among gamers all across India, which is not surprising given the overall popularity of PUBG Mobile. However, concerns still remain regarding the game’s official relaunch in India. Gamers have continued to remain sceptical since its publisher, Krafton, has also remained rather secretive regarding the actual launch date of the game. Cyber sleuths and keen eyed observers have torn down numerous trailers and teasers to claim that June 18 will be when the game becomes officially available for all players, and today’s beta rollout may have come as a pleasant surprise for the select few who could gain access to the game.
Interestingly, most reports have claimed that Battlegrounds Mobile India will remain largely similar to PUBG Mobile, with a few cosmetic changes to the game that apparently includes showing a green liquid instead of blood when a player is shot. In response to an RTI application, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has stated that it is not in its purview to issue permits to apps before launching, but it does hold the power to block an app under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information for Public) Rules, 2009 – “in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of state and defence of India.”
Since being banned, PUBG Mobile has severed ties with the China-based Tencent Gaming, and has also set up a PUBG India subsidiary. It has also come under the umbrella of Korean game development and publishing firm, The latter invested Rs 164 crore in Nazara Technologies prior to its IPO, although spokespeople associated with the move had claimed that Krafton’s investment in Nazara had nothing to do with the fate of PUBG Mobile in the country. Interestingly, Krafton lists China’s Tencent as a major investor itself, while backing entities such as Nodwin Gaming – one of the more prominent esports entities in India.