BGMI Unban in India NOT CONFIRMED by Krafton, But Company Vows to Resume Services
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the Indian version of the popular battle royale title PUBG Mobile, was the subject of recent discussions by Krafton’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the company’s Q4 2022 Earnings Call. The CEO and CFO acknowledged the adverse effect of BGMI’s ban and affirmed that Krafton is committed to resuming services in India. They also added that the company expects significant profitability and growth after the potential unban of the game. However despite multiple misleading reports, Krafton did not confirm BGMI’s unban in India or provide a date or timeline for the same.
Krafton remains committed to resuming BGMI services in India
In a recent conference call discussing Krafton’s Q4 2022 earnings, Krafton’s CFO, Dongkeun Bae noted that BGMI’s suspension had adversely affected the company’s mobile division. “Suspension of BGMI in India in July also was a drag on mobile top line growth,” he said.
Bae acknowledged the difficulties faced by the mobile division of Krafton in 2022 and added that it was a challenging year for the company. “Looking at the mobile side, due to global recession and also the impact coming from re-opening (lifting of lockdowns), an overall depressed economic backdrop, as well as the fact that the services were suspended for BGMI in India - year 2022 was a very difficult operational year for us,” he added.
Despite the difficulties faced in 2022, Bae was optimistic about the future of the mobile division, stating that regional and regulatory uncertainties are expected to mitigate in 2023. He also added that Krafton is putting in a lot of effort to resume BGMI services. “In the year 2023, we believe that the regional uncertainties will start to mitigate, and the uncertainties related to regulation will also start to mitigate. We’ve been putting in a lot of effort to resume the services of BGMI as well. So on the mobile side for 2023, I do not believe we need to be all that negative,” he said.
The CEO or CFO, who yet remained unidentified, claimed that the team had put in a lot of effort to unban BGMI in India. They also believed that it would open additional growth opportunities for the game. “And for BGMI India, we have put in a lot of effort to bring about the unbanning of the sanctions, and once the ban is removed, we believe there will be additional significant growth opportunities,” they said.
“Going forward, we believe that with BGMI and PUBG Mobile global, we will be able to secure that profitability and drive further growth in the future,” the CEO or CFO (yet unidentified) added.
Krafton’s CEO unveils Project BlackBudget, speaks about increase in PUBG user base and PUBG IP
CH Kim, Krafton’s CEO, also announced the development of a new game, Project BlackBudget, which is an open-world extraction shooter game created by the core members of PUBG Studio. “It takes the gunplay of PUBG a step further, further offering a new and non-repetitive experience through exploration, looting, player vs PVE (player versus environment) against changing open world backdrops with a view towards bringing the extraction shooter genre to mass popularity,” he said.
Krafton’s CFO, Dongkeun Bae, reported that the conversion of PUBG PC and the Console version of the game to a free-to-play model resulted in a significant increase in new user count, reaching 45 million.
Krafton believed in the strength of the PUBG IP, with record high daily revenue seen after the recent launch of a Guardian Progressive skin for PUBG PC during the Lunar New Year holidays. The CEO or CFO, who could not be identified during this portion of the conference call, assured that the PUBG IP has the potential to bring sustainable growth in the future, starting in 2024. “PUBG IP based growth is something that is already taking place. It is not something that is a faraway pipe dream, and we are putting in a lot of effort to materialize on the strength of PUBG IP,” they said.
The government of India suspended BGMI in the country under Section 69A of the IT Act on 28th July 2022. . However, there was no concrete follow up that suggested that it was successful in doing so. This time it has again stated that it is putting efforts to resume BGMI. However, the current state of the game is still unclear.