One of the world’s most popular esports titles can no longer be accessed in one of the gaming industry’s largest markets. According to the media outlet ET NOW, the Indian government has reportedly banned Garena Free Fire as well as 53 other mobile gaming applications in the country. This comes after the Indian news agency ANI explained that these Chinese apps reportedly pose a threat to Indian national security.
Free Fire was removed from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in India on February 12th. However, reports surrounding the ban were not officially announced until February 14th.
Garena did address the fact that Free Fire is unavailable on app stores without directly mentioning the ban. The company said that it is currently “working to address this situation.” The organization also apologized to its users “for any inconvenience.”
“It has come as a bolt from the blue for the Indian esports community, especially for the much popular Free Fire esports athletes who have been competing at national and international platforms and connecting with their fans through the virtual setups,” said Lokesh Suji, the Director of the Esports Federation of India and the Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation. “However, there is no need to be disappointed, we believe this will diversify the gaming industry as new players will be introduced and will encourage homegrown video gaming developers, allowing them to curate games based on Indian ethos & culture and showcase Indian capabilities when it comes to developing world-class video games.”
This ban comes as a huge blow to Garena. Of the games 75 million monthly active users, over 40 million are based in India according to TechCrunch.
The Profit‘s Take:
Asia is becoming a tougher and tougher place to do business as a gaming investor. The founder of Garena has basically become a billionaire off the back of this game. I don’t know what else they have in their portfolio that would cover the shortfall. There are clear geopolitical forces at work here that go beyond gaming. All these things scare me as an investor in Asia. It’s all land mines at this point. Everything that’s not homegrown seems to be at risk. India and China do not feel like great markets to be investing time and resources in right now. However, you look at the Middle East, which has opened its arms to gaming companies from around the world. I’m much more bullish on that market compared to China or India. Mark my words, in two years, people are going to realize that the Middle East is massively more lucrative.
(All information was provided by ANI News, Esports Insider, and myKhel)
0 comments on “Free Fire And 53 Other Mobile Gaming Apps Banned In India”