Is Garena Free Fire Attempting to Return to India?
Free Fire is one of the popular battle royale mobile games in India and is loved by millions of youths. Some of the players play this game to make a career out of it while others just play to enjoy and have fun.
In February 2022, Free Fire was banned in India by the Government citing privacy reasons. Following this decision the Google Play Store and App Store removed the game from their platform as per the guidelines of the Indian government. On the other hand Free Fire Max, an improved version of Free Fire was not banned and can be played in India.
Since then, several rumors of the game returning have surfaced but no official confirmation was ever made. Recently, Rishi Alwani, a former journalist, revealed that mails were being received related to Garena Free Fire and it could possibly be a sign of the game’s return.
Is Garena Free Fire planning its return to India?
The Garena Free Fire ban impacted millions of players in the country. Esports athletes and content creators were the most affected group as they had spent countless hours of their lives grinding and practicing to achieve their dream. Many players were deeply invested in the game and were very disappointed when the game was banned. Many are hoping it will officially return someday and this is why the recent development could spark some ray of hope.
In the recent development, Rishi Alwani on Twitter/X revealed that several journalists are receiving emails from Garena Free Fire’s PR mandate regarding the game and it could be an indication of the game’s return.
The email read, “I hope this email finds you well. I’m writing to introduce you to our client Garena Free Fire - a multiplayer battle royale game. We are excited to inform you that we will be handling Garena Free Fire’s PR mandate. We believe that Garena Free Fire’s story, journey and updates will be interesting for your audience to hear. If you are planning any upcoming stories wherein Garena Free Fire’s insights on the gaming industry could add value, we will be happy to help and contribute. Request you to kindly keep us in the loop for such opportunities, and if necessary, we're more than happy to connect you with Garena Free Fire’s management. I look forward to connecting with you in the future”.
The PR containing details of Garena Free Fire’s return was recalled. Rishi shared his thoughts on the matter, “I guess the PR agency prematurely announced Garena's 'return' so to speak. The company has three development studios here making games (in varying degrees of completion) but has been absent from the consumer space following Free Fire's ban”.
Many fans hope to see Free Fire officially return to India, similar to how Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) made its comeback. Players are hoping for an India specific version of the game similar to how BGMI released specifically for the Indian region after the popular battle royale title Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) was banned.
There has been no official confirmation from Garena of the game's return. BGMI was unbanned in May 2023 after sorting out its privacy issues. Fans are hoping for Garena to take similar steps as the game has quite the loyal fan base in India.