The most played multiplayer game worldwide, with over 175 million downloads in India alone, PUBG: Mobile was hands-down a favourite among avid gamers. In India, owing to a massive player base, a booming Esports community and a thriving ecosystem developed around the game. Majority of players even made a significant living by playing the game at a professional level.
Yash Pariani Founder & CEO of Indian Gaming League shares his valuable insight in this article authored by him, on the surge in playerbase of games alternative to Pubg Mobile since its ban by the Indian government.
Currently, the gaming industry in India is at its peak. A report released by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) evidences a promising future for gamers as the Indian mobile gaming industry is expected to touch $934 million by 2022. Even though the gaming ecosystem will seemingly be affected by the ban on PUBG, several Esports players and companies remain optimistic. They believe that the move will bring forth the oft-overlooked Indian games which will easily fill the void left behind by the ban.
PUBG Ban Spells Good News for Alternatives
As per a report by ET Telecom, the embargo on PUBG has proven to be a blessing in disguise for its alternatives – Call of Duty Mobile, Garena Free Fire, and Battlelands Royale, to name a few – which saw immensely high download rates. Post-ban, Indian players decided to diversify and give other games a try. As a result, Call of Duty Mobile was downloaded 9x more than usual. The game also witnessed a massive increase in its daily active users by 50%, achieving growth of 4,80,000 active users on a daily basis as against the 2,00,000 active users prior to the ban.
Following closely behind were games like Battlelands Royale and Garena Free Fire, which received 2x more downloads after PUBG Mobile was banned. In the five-day period from September 3 to- 7, Garena Free Fire had a total of 8,00,000 downloads to its name, registering a 5% rise in daily active users. Whereas, Battlelands Royale achieved a 41% increase in its daily active users in India. Another game that witnessed a significant spike in installations after the ban, registering a record 1.52 million downloads, and became very popular during the pandemic-induced lockdown was Ludo King.
The list has an unexpected entry as well. Though considering the stature of the game, the number of downloads isn’t that high but the ban led to a rise in the percentage of downloads. Pabbje, the Indian alternative to PUBG Mobile, has received over 100,000 downloads recently. Created in India, the game has left many dissatisfied due to its poor graphics, bad gameplay and countless advertisements popping up in between. But the 95MB game showed up in results when gamers searched for PUBG throughout this time period, making it a popular pick. As of now, it’s only available to Android users as its iOS version hasn’t been launched yet.
However, all hope is not lost for PUBG Mobile players and streamers as South Korea-based PUBG Corporation has severed its ties with Tencent and is working on resolving issues with the Indian government to relaunch the game in India in an official capacity as soon as possible.
Opportunities Abound for Indian Game Developers
As gamers move on to other titles, opportunities come knocking for the budding game development sector in India to attract new players. The ban placed on PUBG Mobile has paved the way for other fabulous games to be discovered, which otherwise went unnoticed, thanks to the popularity that PUBG had garnered for itself. Many agree that the occasion is ripe for ‘Made-in-India’ games and gaming-based companies to come to the forefront and work in a cohesive manner to bolster the future for the nation’s Esports ecosystem.
Summing It Up
The abolishment of PUBG Mobile and other Chinese applications has cemented the belief that it will not only preserve national security and youth development but also make Indians prioritize domestic platforms over the foreign ones, enabling home-based gaming companies to capitalize on the moment and showcase their talent and creativity.
Yash Pariani Founder & CEO of Indian Gaming League