Free Fire ban in India: Garena breaks silence, eSports industry also speaks up! | Gaming News

Free Fire ban in India: Garena breaks silence, eSports industry also speaks up!

Free Fire ban in India: Garena releases an official statement, confirming it is working on a solution to bring it back.

| Updated on: Feb 15 2022, 09:31 IST
Garena Free Fire redeem codes
Free Fire ban: Garena says its working on a solution. (
Garena Free Fire redeem codes
Free Fire ban: Garena says its working on a solution. (

Hours after Free Fire went missing from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, Garena released a media statement for players and its fan base. The popular battle royale game is now part of the 54 banned apps from China that have been found to violate data privacy laws, have security threats, and were found to be cloned versions. Surprisingly, the Free Fire Max title is still live in the Google Play Store and is not a part of the ban list; Apple has already removed this title from its app stores too.

HT Tech reached out to Garena for a statement regarding the ban from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and this is what they had to say. “We are aware that Free Fire is currently unavailable in the Google Play and iOS app stores in India and that the game is currently not operable for some users in the country. We are working to address this situation, and we apologize to our users for any inconvenience.”

Free Fire ban: What the industry has to say

The ban on Garena Free Fire hits the booming eSports industry in India hard. Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation, says, “It has come as a bolt from the blue for the Indian esports community, especially for the much popular Free Fire esports athletes who have been competing at national and international platforms and connecting with their fans through the virtual setups. However, there is no need to be disappointed, we believe this will diversify the gaming industry as new players will be introduced and will encourage homegrown video gaming developers, allowing them to curate games based on Indian ethos & culture and showcase Indian capabilities when it comes to developing world-class video games.”

"We hope that Garena can work with the Government of India to address the concerns raised around Free Fire. We have seen this happen in the past where titles made their way back after fixing the compliance issues. The entire creator and esports community around Free Fire is waiting for a positive and quick resolution to the move,” says Vishwalok Nath, Director, World Esports Cup and Esports Premier League.

"The Free Fire community is one of the largest and fastest-growing esports communities in India. The sudden banning of the game has surely blindsided a massive number of gamers. We've seen this happen before with the PUB G ban and if we are to learn from it, it seems like it may as well be a long-drawn battle to bring back the game. While the community handles this setback, gamers do have an alternative in the form of Free Fire Max which is still available for download. Unfortunately, it's mostly a wait and watch game here till we learn more," says Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, The Gamer's Social Network

Note that platers who already have the game installed on their phones can continue to play Free Fire. Additionally, players on Android can still get the Free Fire Max version, since the basic gameplay experience is identical, save for improved graphics for high-end devices.

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First Published Date: 15 Feb, 09:02 IST