The ban on online gaming platform PUBG has proved to be a blessing for other players who have jumped to the occasion to fill the void
By Shriya Roy
The recent ban on online gaming platform PUBG by the government came as a shocker to gamers across the country. The ban, however, proved to be a blessing for other gaming platforms, as it has opened up the online gaming arena for all, making it a level-playing field.
Within only two days of the ban, a home-grown competitor called FAU-G was unveiled by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. Released by Bengaluru-based nCore games, FAU-G stands for Fearless and United-Guards and has pledged to donate 20% of its revenue to the government’s fund for paramilitary forces called Bharat Ke Veer. The first level of the game is based on Galwan Valley in Ladakh, where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in June.
Amazon, too, recently launched its Prime Gaming platform. It’s the new version of Twitch Prime, a service that Amazon launched four years ago, which was tied to the popular game streaming platform Twitch that it acquired in 2014. Prime Gaming offers free games, game content and a free Twitch channel subscription as part of a Prime membership. It currently offers in-game content for Grand Theft Auto Online, Red Dead Online, Apex Legends, EA Sports FIFA 20, League of Legends and more than 20 other PC, console and mobile games. It also includes a free collection of PC games every month. “Prime members already get the best of TV, movies and music, and now, we’re expanding our offerings to include the best of gaming,” Larry Plotnick, general manager, Prime Gaming, said. “We’re giving customers new content that makes playing their favourite games on every platform even better. So no matter what kind of games you love and no matter where you play them, they’ll be even better with Prime Gaming,” he added. The Prime Gaming service is available now with a 30-day free trial for new members.
The launch of the service comes on the heels of the rocky launch of Amazon’s Crucible, a free-to-play multiplayer game that was launched in May this year.
After the launch and reception did not go as expected, Amazon moved Crucible back to the garage, admitting it launched the game before it was ready. Crucible’s lack of overall originality and its lacklustre characters, combat and art style made it largely forgettable. It also suffered from a bit of an identity crisis by trying to be a bit of everything.
Like Amazon, other alternative online gaming platforms, too, have raised the bar to match the demand in the market. Call of Duty has been around for a while, but the mobile version was launched in October last year and has garnered a massive fan following. It’s a first-person shooter (FPS) game, but has a battle royale mode with a huge map and even zombies. It is also one of the oldest franchises in the FPS game genre.
Free Fire was released in 2017 and is a lesser-known battle royale game. The 10-minute survival shooter game is fast-paced and allows up to 50 players to play alongside. The game has been included in Google Play Store’s editor’s choice and has a rating of 4.1 after more than 500 million downloads.
Rules of Survival is another battle royale game, which is probably the closest to the experience of PUBG Mobile. The similarity is so great that it was involved in a legal dispute with PUBG over copyright issues. A maximum of 300 players are allowed to compete at once in the latest version of the game.
Another popular first-person action game in the arena has been Knives Out. This game was launched as an attempt to revive the genre of first-person action games and is based on a multiplayer battle royale format. The advantage that this game has over Rules of Survival is its storage, which roughly comes to 600 MB as compared to 1 GB for other battle royal games.
The biggest player in the market right now, however, is Fortnite. The premise of the game includes 100 players jumping on to a battlefield to fight it out. The last player standing becomes the winner. The biggest advantage that the game enjoys is that, unlike PUBG Mobile, Fortnite supports cross-platform functionality, so that the player can compete against PC and console players.