Garena Free Fire was banned in India last week due to the app’s connections to China. The battle royale game is not the first to be banned in the country; PUBG Mobile was removed from the App Store and Google Play Store in September of 2020 due to similar concerns. According to GamesIndustry.biz, Free Fire and Free Fire Max had 238 million downloads in India alone prior to the ban.
This ban will also have major effects on live streamers in the country who primarily played Garena Free Fire prior to the ban. Using Stream Hatchet’s data analysis tool, here are some insights around the issue:
- Out of the top 100 Garena Free Fire streamers on YouTube Gaming in 2021, 31 are from India, with over 128 million hours streamed.
- Brazil had the second highest number of streamers at 30, with 157 million hours streamed.
- The top Indian Free Fire streamer, Gyan Gaming, had almost 18.3 million hours watched in 2021, with 103,000 peak concurrent viewers.
Garena Free Fire was the third most streamed game in 2021 with 1.23 billion hours watched, behind League of Legends and GTA V. It was also the most streamed mobile game. With the ban in India in effect, the game’s popularity for live streaming is hanging in the balance. What will the numbers look like at year end for Free Fire, and will a different mobile game step up and take its place?
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