Garena Free Fire, developed by 111 Dots Studio based out of Vietnam, received a shot in the arm when India banned its arch-rival PUBG and 117 other Chinese-made apps. On top of it, the game has received its first playable Indian character Jai, who happens to be based on Bollywood's first superhero Hrithik Roshan.
The game, which emerged as the most downloaded mobile game in 2019 and also received the Best Popular Game award on Play Store, could just be preparing for an Indian invasion at this precise moment in time. That a Bollywood superhero should be leading the Battle Royale game on its Indian mission can't be missed. More so, when many PUBG addicts in India are looking for alternatives for the banned apps.
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Free Fire, claims more than 500 million downloads on Play Store, which means it already has a sizeable community of gamers' support. With the removal of PUBG from the gaming scene, the road to the top of the pile in India could resemble a freeway for Free Fire. In the past, despite having a large audience in India, the game didn't exactly feature on top of the list.
Garena, the online game developer and publisher headquartered in Singapore, has timed the announcement of Hrithik Roshan joining hands with Free Fire at just the right moment, though we believe it could be sheer coincidence. India's decision to ban 118 more apps, including the highly popular PUBG, came without warning yesterday, by which time Hrithik had signed up.
The partnership between the Bollywood superstar and Garena introduces a new campaign called "Be the Hero" that offers players the chance to play as Hrithik's official avatar, known as Jai. By bringing one of Bollywood's biggest action stars into the country's gaming ecosystem. Garena is hoping to create an Indian connect through localization.
Hrithik Roshan himself shared that he was thrilled to be part of the Free Fire universe and hoped the players would enjoy becoming his official avatar Jai. Garena said in a prepared statement that this was part of their localization efforts. By offering our gaming community in India the unique opportunity to play as one of India’s most recognisable stars, we wanted to reaffirm our commitment to creating memorable experiences for players here,” said Harold Teo, Free Fire Producer at Garena.
Garena offers regular seasons for Free Fire, gameplay updates and also boasts of a robust gaming ecosystem to back it up. Thus, it makes for a good option for those who were used to the PUBG experience and seeking for replacements.
The origins of Free Fire
The game, originally released in 2017, is an action-adventure battle royale game played from the third-person perspective. The arrival of Jai makes the experience unique as it allows the player to assume that avatar. The game can be played by up to 50 players who parachute into an island seeking weapons and equipment to kill other players.
The players, who are free to choose their starting positions, weapons and supplies, start off aboard a plane that flies over the island. Players jump off when they want, allowing them to choose a strategic place to land away from the enemy. Thereafter, the players seek weapons and utility items including medical equipment, and other stuff. The ultimate aim is to survive on the island with a maximum of players online and eliminating everyone else.
The latest move indicates Garena's focus on India as a preferred destination. In recent times, the company has made several efforts to bolster its presence including streaming of eSport tournaments in local languages and hosting community engagements, and celebrating local festivals.
Having kept gamers engaged with the game's third anniversary in August, Garena Free Fire has entered September with several activities and events revolving around their partnership with Netflix's show Money Heist. They are already offering outfits, skins and several themed pieces around the popular show on the streaming platform.