What Is Free Fire?
Updated: May 10, 2021
With over 80 million daily active users globally, Free Fire is one of the most popular battle royales out there — yet a lot of people have never heard of it.
Garena Free Fire is a battle royale game developed by 111 Dots Studio and published by Garena for mobile devices (Android and iOS). It’s an online action game played in a third-person perspective like other popular battle royale titles, dropping 50 players onto an island to scramble for weapons and equipment in an attempt to be the last squad standing.
Players start on a plane, flying above the island. As the plane flies over the island, players can jump off the plane and aim for a spot on the map of their choosing. Once players land, they start searching the environment for weapons and other important items. These weapons are then used to eliminate other players in an attempt to be the last squad or individual standing.
To a lot of esports fans, this essentially sounds like Fortnite or PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds. So what makes Free Fire different? What has made it gross over $1 billion worldwide in 2019 alone?
Free Fire immediately blew up in 2019, winning teh “Best Popular Vote Game” category of Google Play’s Best Apps of the Year. One reason it’s been so appealing around the world (including Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia) is that it has graphics with very low requirements, meaning it will run perfectly on lower quality phones. This allowed a lot of communities to gain access to the game that were previously unable to play other battle royales on their phone properly.
Then in September of 2020, PUBG was banned from India. The game was considered addictive after multiple concerning cases came forward throughout the country. PUBG was also banned in China after the country considered it too violent. A replacement came to China in the form of Game For Peace, complete with eliminated players waving goodbye instead of dying.
Gamers in these stricter regions latched onto Free Fire once they were unable to play other mobile battle royales. Free Fire even has a thriving esports scene in India, with a lot of competitive players proving themselves in heavily watched tournaments.
By the end of Quarter 1 in 2021, Free Fire surpassed PUBG Mobile in revenue within the United States (generating $100 million compared to PUBG’s $68 million). This proved that Free Fire was also making waves in North America, spreading around the world thanks to its competitive nature and addictive gameplay.
Free Fire’s revenue has jumped about 4.5 times what it made in the same period in 2020. The world is clearly catching on to the Free Fire hype and the North American esports scene is looking to develop a Free Fire competitive community as well. And FirstBlood is one of the first to explore this fresh scene in hopes of expanding its fanbase and bringing this exciting mobile esport to American viewers.