Free-to-play shooter game Free Fire has become the first battle royale title to cross a billion downloads on the Google Play Store.
In celebration of the milestone, Garena, the Singapore-based publisher of the title, has announced an in-game event for fans and players around the world. The company said that the event will take pace in August, in conjunction with Free Fire’s fourth anniversary celebrations, but did not share specific details.
Free Fire takes on multiple titles in the famous battle royale category, including Krafton’s PUBG Mobile, Activision’s Call of Duty: Mobile, and Epic’s Fortnite. The game’s traction has grown significantly over the last 8-9 months, especially after the Indian government banned category leader PUBG Mobile.
During this period, Garena has doubled down on boosting the popularity of the game with various collaborations and esports tournaments for players. In 2021 alone, Free Fire announced collaborations with brands and personalities, including partnerships (in the game and beyond) with McLaren Racing, Street Fighter V, One-Punch Man, and Attack on Titan.
It recently closed an esports tournament with a prize pool of Rs 35 lakh and is now gearing up for another one -- a celebratory event where popular influencers and content creators will compete with fan-voted players.
That said, given that PUBG has made a comeback in India as Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), it will be interesting to see how these two titles compete.
Krafton is already moving aggressively with BGMI, launching new in-game content as well as an esports tournament with a prize pool of Rs 1 crore. The game has drawn over 34 million players within a month of its launch.
Beyond this, Krafton has also invested nearly $70 million across three Indian content and gaming startups –Nodwin Gaming, Loco, and Pratilipi.