Garena recently announced that Free Fire is returning to India. Following its ban, the company’s mobile battle royale gaming is finally making a comeback in the region in a couple of days. So here’s what to expect from its relaunch.
Free Fire India: New Features & Security Measures
The Singaporean gaming publisher Free Fire was banned by the local government over security concerns. But now, the game is returning to India, with downloads going live on 5th September 2023 on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Since the original ban was over data security issues, Garena emphasized ensuring robust security measures for its player base. Data security is a major concern for gamers, and online gaming apps often face criticism for this.
This is why games like PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, and others were banned in India. To address this, the company announced that the game will have various new features and content that are specifically built to cater to Indians. The company has created a new verification system for parental supervision of underage players. Its collaboration will also extend to local cloud hosting and infrastructure partners to safeguard Indian players’ data.
In other words, the game will also help promote safe and healthy gaming habits. Periodically, the mobile game will even notify gamers to take breaks. At launch, Free Fire India is confirmed to launch with two game modes. This includes the Classic Battle Royale, which pits 50 players against one another to be the last person standing. Matches are usually 10 minutes long, and the playable area lowers as the zone gets smaller over time. In the Clash Squad mode, two teams of 4 players fight it out in a best-of-seven match.
Free-Fire India and Esports
Right off the bat, Garena announced the continuation of its Free Fire India Championship league, reigniting fans of competitive shooters from the esports community. The FFIC will start soon and the winning team will get a chance to represent their country in the Free Fir World Series in Thailand in November. To promote the game’s return, known Indian athletes like cricketer MS Dhoni, footballer Sunil Chhetri, badminton star Saina Nehwal, and others were also called for this announcement. Notably, Free Fire players can also get their hands on the special MS Dhoni skin in-game.
Free Fire India Return: How did the industry react?
Commenting on Garena’s push for Indian esports, Kratos Studios Founder Manish Agarwal believes that Free Fire could be another esports-worthy title like BGMI and Valorant. He further added that this title may rival traditional sports in terms of “audience engagement and financial potential”. Manish said India’s 100 million active players could bring substantial esports viewership.
Similarly, GodLike Esports Founder Chetan “Kronten” Chandgude stated that Free Fire’s return is a “testament to the power of esports and the unbreakable bond between the game and its players.” The comeback showcases the “game’s popularity has been nothing short of exceptional, both in terms of gameplay and esports viewership. We’re excited to empower the next generation of Indian esports champions and foster a thriving competitive gaming ecosystem”.
Abhishek Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Trinity Gaming India, also expressed his opinions on Free Fire’s return. Free Fire India won’t be restricted to just the competitive scene and will also be a “remarkable boost to the creator community as well.” He added “With the intent of providing creators with diverse and immersive content, Free Fire India will empower them to expand their fanbase within the industry”.