South Korean game developer Krafton has dropped the first beta of Battlegrounds Mobile India -- the India-specific version of banned battle royale title PUBG -- on the Google Play Store.
The company said on Thursday that it has made an ‘early access’ release live on the app store, allowing interested players, who had pre-registered for the game, to download it directly from the Store or using the link on the company’s website and social channels.
Early access releases are often glitchy and aimed at gathering general feedback from the audience. Krafton has said that the progress and purchases made by players in their early release would be carried over to the final version.
BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA Early Access version is now available on Google Play Store!— Battleground Mobile India (@BattleGames_IN) June 17, 2021
Can't get in? Don't worry, more slots will be made available frequently.
#battlegroundsmobileindia #EARLYACCESS #BGMI pic.twitter.com/1E3tQHSnCD
Testing programme already full
While there is significant interest in the title, it must be noted that the early access page set up to install the beta already shows a message saying testing programme has reached its limit and is not accepting any more players.
Krafton, on its part, has said that it will make an increasing number of early access slots available frequently throughout the day.
So far, more than 200 million people have pre-registered to download Battlegrounds Mobile India, which is expected to be a tweaked India-specific avatar of PUBG Mobile, banned by the Indian government last September.
The blanket ban, covering several Chinese apps, was imposed over data and national security reasons, which prompted Krafton to halt operations in India, revoke Chinese company Tencent’s India publishing rights for PUBG Mobile, and work to address other concerns raised by the government.
“...Krafton will be working with partners, to ensure data protection and security, at each stage,” the company said on May 6. “This will ensure privacy rights are respected, and all data collection and storage will be in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in India and for players here.”
The company announced the plan to launch the new India-exclusive title and restart operations in the country in November 2020. Back then, it had said that the refreshed game would come with tweaks such as characters starting out fully clothed and playtime restrictions.
Krafton had also announced a $100 million investment in the country to promote local esports and hire local talent for various roles, among other things.