The 54 Chinese apps banned last week included Free Fire. The ban not only affected players but also live streamers and esports athletes who chose it as their career. Surprisingly, Free Fire MAX, an enhanced version, hasn’t been banned in India. The title is still available on the Google Play Store.
Back in September 2020, another popular battle royale game PUBG Mobile was banned in India. However, it made a successful comeback in July 2021 as Battegrounds Mobile India after Krafton took up the responsibility of publishing.
Gyan Gaming emerges as top Indian Free Fire streamer in 2021
GamesIndustry.biz reported that both Free Fire and Free Fire MAX had more than 238 million downloads in India before the ban came into effect. Stream Hatchet, a data analyst site, has compiled some insights around Free Fire. Let’s take a look.
India had 31 out of the top 100 Free Fire streamers on YouTube Gaming. The country’s total stream time is a little over 128 million hours. With 103,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, Gyan Gaming, the top Free Fire streamer in India, had a watch time of almost 18.3 million hours in 2021. He has over 13.8 million subscribers on YouTube. However, Stream Hatchet has not revealed the top 100 streamers list.
Total Gaming, one of the most popular content creators in South Asia, is the biggest gaming YouTuber from India with 31.4 million subscribers on YouTube.
Brazil has the second-highest number of Free Fire streamers (30) but with 157 million hours of stream time, which is the highest. Vietnamese, Indonesian, Mexican, and Argentine streamers reached 10 million hours, with four streamers each making the top 100 for each nation.
The title was the most streamed mobile game of 2021 as well. In the overall gaming market, it placed third behind LoL and GTA, with 1.23 billion hours viewed in 2021. A large chunk of the viewership came from India, and with the ban coming into effect, the game’s live-streaming popularity is on the line .
With 247 million downloads, the title became the most-downloaded mobile game in 2021. That momentum was maintained into 2022, emerging as the most-downloaded game in January, with India once again topping the list with around 25% of the total downloads.