Following the announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs to ban 54 Chinese mobile applications, including popular game Garena Free Fire, the Indian esports industry leaders have reacted.
Once titled the most downloaded mobile game globally, the highly engaging battle royale game enjoys a high prize pool at its national and international tournaments. The news has come as a shock, as these athletes have a loyal fanbase and have earned fame through this very game.
It is, thus, interesting to see the industry leaders’ take on it and what they think is the way forward. Below are the quotes from the gaming industry leaders expressing how the ban will impact the booming esports sector.
Mr Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), stated:
“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.
“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 home-grown 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.
“We fully support this & will fully support any such decisions taken by our government, when it comes to safeguarding national integrity & security.
“The Indian esports industry has been in the wherewithal situation in the past but that never stopped them from growing and never will as we are not dependent on one game.”
Mr Vishwalok Nath, Director, World Esports Cup and Esports Premier League (both tournaments featured the game Free Fire), commented:
“We hope that Garena can work with the Government of India to address the concerns raised around Free Fire. We have seen this happen in the past where titles made their way back after fixing the compliance issues. The entire creator and esports community around Free Fire is waiting for a positive and quick resolution to the move.”
Mr Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, The Gamer’s Social Network, added:
“The Free Fire community is one of the largest and fastest-growing esports communities in India. The sudden banning of the game has surely blindsided a massive number of gamers. We’ve seen this happen before with the PUB G ban and if we are to learn from it, it seems like it may as well be a long-drawn battle to bring back the game. While the community handles this setback, gamers do have an alternative in the form of Free Fire Max which is still available for download. Unfortunately, it’s mostly a wait and watch game here till we learn more.”