Indian Esports Industry Reacts to Battlegrounds Mobile India Announcement
KRAFTON has announced that it is re-entering the Indian mobile esports market through Battlegrounds Mobile India, leaving fans and stakeholders excited for the future of the game. While the overall sentiment towards the game’s announcement has been very positive on social media, AFK Gaming reached out to several key stakeholders in the Indian esports industry to gauge their responses to this massive announcement. Key leaders from NODWIN Gaming, Fnatic, ESFI, The Esports Club, Skyesports, and Trinity Gaming shared their first impressions of Battlegrounds Mobile India’s announcement and what it means for the Indian esports scene.
Esports Stakeholders Are Looking Forward to KRAFTON’s Commitment to India
Fnatic’s Statement on Battlegrounds Mobile India
The reintroduction of PUBG Mobile as Battlegrounds Mobile India will give esports organizations like Fnatic. The organization suspended its operations within the country due to PUBG Mobile’s ban, and it may now seek to reenter the market. Patrik Sättermon, Chief Gaming Officer of Fnatic, stated that the org was excited to note the latest development. However, the organization wants to wait for the right opportunity to make its return.
“Our ambition is to return with a pro team when we feel that the opportunity is right, and whereas the title actually coming back being a great first step, we (would) now like to understand how the esports (side of things) will look,” said Sättermon. “For us, it’s pivotal that there is a long-term structure in place where the developer, organizer, teams, players, and fans all can thrive.”
Nodwin Gaming’s Statement on Battlegrounds Mobile India
KRAFTON seeks to build its own esports ecosystem for the country with various tournaments and leagues. Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming*, an esports tournament organizer which recently raised an INR 164 Crore ($2.24 Million USD)Investment From KRAFTON stated “The announcement of Battlegrounds Mobile India has got everyone super excited. The gaming community has waited long to hear from KRAFTON Inc. and are eager to get their hands on it. Looking forward to the future.”
Responding to our queries via email, Rathee added, “I think this will lead to the next leg of the journey for India. The time it was not there was a testimonial to the fact that esports in India is robust and strong.”
The Esports Club’s Statement on Battlegrounds Mobile India
“PUBG Mobile played a very crucial role in helping accelerate the growth of esports in the country so it’s definitely good to have it back, in whatever shape or form,” said Ishaan Arya, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development of The Esports Club (TEC)**. TEC hosted several tournaments in various esports titles like Rainbow Six: Siege, Call of Duty: Mobile, Valorant which proved vital to fill the void caused by PUBG Mobile’s removal from the country’s esports ecosystem.
However, Arya remains skeptical about whether the game would be restored to the same position in the market after a year of absence and lack of clarity.
Skyesports’ Statement on Battlegrounds Mobile India
Indian esports is already growing at a fast pace and Battlegrounds Mobile India coming back will help the scene grow bigger according to Shiva Nandy,Founder and CEO of Skyesports– a tournament organizer based out of South India, best known for its Skyesports League and the Skyesports Championship.
“We can expect a huge jump in Indian gaming viewership, userbase, and of course revenues,” said Nandy. “We hope KRAFTON has got all the necessary approvals from the government to run it smoothly for long years. Skyesports can’t wait to start Grassrooting once again.”
ESFI’s Statement on Battlegrounds Mobile India
Earlier this year, KRAFTON’s Head of Corporate Development Sean Hyunil Sohn talked about how important the Indian market is to the company and if the studio is able to deliver on the expectations of the Indian audience, the localized version of PUBG Mobile would be a success.
“It’s good to see that Krafton has considered the Indian requirements and has modified the game and this will surely fuel the Indian esports ecosystem,” said Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF). “Krafton has been already taking positive initiatives in the Indian market in the last few months which is very heartening to see and also highlights the capability of the esports ecosystem in India.”
He hopes that KRAFTON has plugged all the necessary approvals needed to launch the game within the country and requested other game developers to follow a similar model when it comes to customizing India-specific games.
Trinity Gaming’s Statement on Battlegrounds Mobile India
The PUBG ban adversely affected content creators who were predominantly creating content for the title. The reintroduction of the game will allow popular content creators to get back into the game once again. Shivam Rao, Co-Founder & COO of Trinity Gaming (a network of esports and gaming influencers) shared how thrilled the team is about the launch of the game.
The organization expects the entire gaming community to grow in the country and expects KRAFTON to increase the brand value in the industry.
“The game will be a huge step towards the successful future of esports in India,” said Rao. “We believe the content creators community will get a major boost once the game will be launched and it will fuel our ambition of creating a unique ecosystem for the gaming content creators to make a serious career out of their passion.”
In September 2020, The Indian Government blocked 118 mobile apps which were deemed to be prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India. The banned apps included PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite amongst other apps. PUBG studio Krafton has been on record stating that it was focusing heavily to bring back the game to India. The brand-new Battlegrounds Mobile India claims that it has taken several precautions to address these privacy concerns, paving the way for its return.
We will have to wait and see how KRAFTON shapes the esports scene for Battlegrounds Mobile India. The game is set to open its pre-registrations soon but no official dates have been revealed yet.
KRAFTON has lined up plans for building up its esports ecosystem for India and the community wants to see how the studio delivers on its promises.
*NODWIN Gaming is a minority investor in and a client of AFK Gaming.
**The Esports Club is a client and vendor of AFK Gaming.