Has the exit of ‘PUBG Mobile’ and ‘Fortnite’ meant increased opportunity for other battle royale games?

India’s mobile games industry has exploded over the past few years; especially the battle royal genre has seen a huge shift. In the midst of Covid19 pandemic, the story of battle royal genre reached a fever pitch but also took many twists and turns.

Fortnite debacle

Starting off with Fortnite for mobile, Epic games fought with Apple and Google followed by Epic’s suing of the tech giants, which was ignited when Epic protested the App Store and Play Store’s 30per cent revenue fees and skirted the policy to sell V-Bucks directly to players, resulting in both Apple and Google booting Fortnite from their stores.  

This in turn, led Epic Games to incur major losses which meant a saying goodbye to 60 per cent of its Fortnite iPhone players. With Epic barred from adding major updates and its absence on the appstore, it has been naturally hit by desertion by Iphone users. 

However Fortnite is available through other ways than the Google Play Store for many users. That may be why Epic isn’t drawing attention to its losses on that front, as Android devices are less restrictive about how users can download apps.

PUBG Ban

PUBG Mobile, has doubled its lifetime revenue to $3 billion over the past seven months, according to Sensor Tower. It was at $1.5 billion in December 2019. In March, at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, revenue hit an all-time high of $270 million. Now Government of India has banned PUBG Mobile / PUBG Lite and other 117 apps with Chinese Origin due to security reasons. This has led tech giant Tencent to face a loss of $34 billion approximately of its market value within few days of ban. PUBG has more than 175 million installation from India alone which accounts for 24 per cent of total installation worldwide. And these players aka ‘PUBG Wale’ who is now searching for other options to play games of the same battle royale genre.

Rise Of Homegrown Battle Royale Game

Taking up the opportunity of PUBG Mobile/ PUBG Lite’s dismissal from India; a day after the ban was enforced,  Bengaluru based nCore Games announced that they are launching a new multiplayer mid-core gaming titled, Fearless and United: Guards (FAU:G) soon with Bollywood actor Akhshay Kumar as the face of the brand.

The game is expected to launch at the end of October with its first level set in the Galwan Valley backdrop followed by third person shooting gameplay in the subsequent releases. The game will be available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

The announcement took the internet by storm as the Indian gaming aficionados started feeling positive given the fact that FAU:G is homegrown and many who were cynical about downloading any other gaming apps from the store are now feeling relieved.

Just before the PUBG ban, Garena Free Fire announced the collaboration with Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan to bring in a new character called Jai. The character is a SWAT agent trained to operate in the high risk situations who belongs to New Delhi, India. The introduction of JAI has united the fans of the actor and other Indian free-fire players

Free Fire has over 500 million downloads on the Google Play Store, making it one of the most downloaded Battle Royale games. The game reached this milestone in February 2020.

According to a report by App Annie, Free Fire had a successful last year, and it topped the chart in terms of total downloads. According to the quarterly reports of Garena’s parent company, Sea Limited, the game had a tremendous first-quarter performance. The game also had more than 80 million peak daily active users. The report also stated that the number of paying users as a percentage of total active users in India was over 10 per cent. Also Freefire was the second highest in terms of revenue earn after PUBG as of 2019. In addition to that post ban of PUBG gaming leaders have suggested to play this game in alternative to PUBG.

On the other hand, Call Of Duty Mobile is generating over  $327 million with 250 million downloads by June 2020. As with each seasonal update, CoD Mobile players are bagged with fresh content be it in-game comics, map, weapons, characters and so on.

As players look forward to the Season 10 update and season 9 is closing down. developers have hinted that Terminal was the first confirmed map and Modern Warfare 2 classic comes to mobile assume 10 September. It is also nows revealed that map Pine is on the way.

With PUBG’s plugged pulled and Epic Games Fortnite Mobile dropped off from iOS and Google play, it seems that their exit from Mobile ground has opened the frontiers the opportunity for others and the newcomers. We have to wait and see what coming time has to offer.

 

Games