The ban on the PlayerUnknown ‘s Mobile Battlefield (PUBG), one of the world’s most common virtual gaming platforms, has sparked a frenzied quest for alternatives among Indian gamers.
Downloads for Garena Free Fire and Call of Duty (COD) Mobile rival games have gradually increased since PUBG was taken out of the security issues app stores on 2 September.
App analytics company Sensor Tower’s data showed Free Fire and COD Mobile were downloaded 3.7 million and 1.4 million times between September 3 and 9, respectively. The number of downloads from the previous week rose by 147 percent and 267 percent respectively.
The virtual gaming industry, dominated by a select few names for many decades, is quickly giving way to newer challengers. Owing to the rapid rise in smartphone usage, online gaming platforms dominate almost three-fourths of the domestic gaming market according to industry data. Online gaming, as a market, is expected to represent a $1.1 billion opportunity in India by 2021, according to a study from Google-KPMG.
More than 628 million gamers are projected to be on India. Experts attribute the change in market share to mobile gaming sales that exceed those of game consoles, forcing major developers to move to mobile platforms.
Although some still expect PUBG to make a comeback, gamers seem to be turning to their rivals at the moment, just like people did when TikTok was banned. Unlike the short-video app, however, PUBG has no Indian alternative and hence its absence is supposed to favour international, non-Chinese game publishers.
According to Harsh Kothari, who runs e-sports company Neon Gaming, users who have purchased in-app products in PUBG Mobile would incur losses and can also use private virtual networks to play the game.
The data from Sensor Tower shows that $41.2 million came from India out of the $3.5 billion PUBG raised worldwide over its lifespan. Although this is just 1.2 per cent of the game ‘s global revenue (most of it comes from China), between 1 January and 31 August this year, PUBG Mobile was India’s highest grossing app.
The PUBG Corporation is closely monitoring the situation around PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map’s latest bans: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite in India. It has seen a huge amount of support from the player base of the country for the game and would like to thank the community for their excitement and enthusiasm.
PUBG Corporation completely recognizes and supports the government’s steps as the privacy and protection of player data is a key priority for the business. It hopes to work hand in hand with the Indian government to find a solution that will allow gamers to drop into the battlefields once again while fully complying with Indian laws and regulations.