Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a new avatar of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile from Korean game publisher Krafton, was on Thursday removed from both Apple and Google app stores in India following a government order.

Speaking to news reporters, a Krafton spokesperson said, “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and will let you know once we get specific information.”

In a statement, Google on Thursday said, “On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India.”

Also read: BGMI ‘mysteriously disappears’ from Google Play Store, Apple’s App Store

Why BGMI has been removed from Apple, Google app stores?

While the Indian government is yet to officially announce on why it directed the game to be taken down, the development has come a month after a 16-year old boy allegedly shot his mother because she stopped him from playing “online games like PUBG”. This issue was also raised in the ongoing session of Parliament, where the government had said that the Ministry of Home Affairs was examining some of the banned apps appearing with a new avatar but with the same functionality.

Also read: PUBG: Battlegrounds goes free-to-play on PC, Xbox, PlayStation

Earlier, Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy had asked if the IT Ministry was taking action against apps like PUBG, adding that “some children have also committed crimes when they were restrained from playing the game”.

To this, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “There are various reports and grievances received in Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), conveying that apps that were blocked are appearing with new avatar by using similar sounding names or rebranded with the same functionality. All such reports and grievances have been forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the requesting agency, for examination. MeitY follows the due process as defined in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.”

Also read: India among top 10 countries to tweet about gaming in 2021

Why was PUBG Mobile banned in India?

This is the second time the game has been delisted from app stores in India, with its predecessor PUBG, the popular battle royale game, being banned in the country prior to this.

In 2020, Tencent Games had launched PUBG Mobile in India when the game got banned in the country along with 117 other applications believed to be made by companies originating in China.

Before the game’s relaunch in India in its rebranded form, the PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of Krafton, in September 2020 had said it would not authorise the PUBG Mobile franchise to Tencent Games in India, and took over all publishing responsibilities in the country.