What’s with all the hype about Free Fire?
Free Fire is a very popular mobile esports game apparently. Published by Garena, the battle royale title peaks at about 80 million players per day. That’s a considerable number, and it’s only on the rise since the Singapore-based Garena published their numbers.
The free battle royale game is one of several of its kind, but unlike many, it’s quite successful and doing extremely well. In fact, the company’s income rose by over 30% compared to their performance last year. That’s millions of additional revenue – despite being free to play, Free Fire is drawing considerable income via in-game purchases.
In a somewhat unique take, Garena are advertising their game in an innovative way – by hiring local celebrities for regional advertising. These include an Indonesian actor, a Brazilian music artist, Colombian soccer players, and more. Especially in Asia and South America, mobile esports games like Free Fire are much more popular than in Europe and North America. It’s one of the top mobile esports games in the world – and not without reason. The brightly coloured and well-designed environments and characters feel like the best visual middle ground between Fortnite and PUBG – and fans seem to agree.
The Free Fire game is a mobile battle royale that offers a balanced competitive experience that has managed to draw a big audience and already seen tons of small to medium competitions launch. Despite this, it’s not perfect – the game’s main problem is hackers. Mostly centred within the Indian Free Fire community, hackers have been affecting play. While some incidents have occurred in other places too, it’s particularly the Indian gaming community that has suffered from the problem.
It’s not just casual players either – in a scandal, some Indian players from teams like Entity Gaming and TSG army were caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar. The game’s anti-cheat software caught them, and two players were banned from the game.
Despite this, the overall issue persists, and it’s straining the esports scene – while a serious issue of hacking persists, things like esports betting on tournaments are almost impossible – not where there is almost no faith in even competitions running fairly.
Esports experts are seeing a similar phenomenon to another popular Battle Royale game – PUBG. Both the PUBG and PUBG Mobile battle royale games suffered from cheaters in its earlier stages, but eventually the developers successfully curbed the problem. It’s likely a similar story will occur here – while right now Garena haven’t done much to sort out the issue, that doesn’t mean that a fix isn’t in the making.
For now, even with hackers, fans are more than happy to keep playing – and especially in Asia, there will also be future tournaments. Check out local groups and organisers to find something near you, or just check out your favourite Free Fire streamers if you’d rather watch them play!
Of course, the game is available on both iOS and Android platforms if you want to give it a try yourself to see what the hype is about.