When it comes to the gaming industry, India is not a popular name, especially in the console and PC segments. However, when it comes to mobile gaming, the country has managed to be one of the top five nations in terms of the number of users. According to POKKT, a leading mobile video advertising platform, more than 222 million active gamers have been spending an average of 42 minutes playing mobile games every day over five sessions in the country as of 2017.
The numbers are only growing and one of the biggest contributors in recent months has been PUBG Mobile. PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, which is originally a PC and console game, was launched on the mobile platform in March 2018. Within one year, the game has taken over the world by storm. So much so, even PM Modi knows that the game is distracting kids from studying.
Recent research carried out by Internet service provider Jana, suggests that while the PUBG name is very popular, about 73.4 percent of total PUBG players in India are playing the mobile version of the game on their phones.
But why is this happening? Why all of a sudden this game where you loot, kill, survive and much on chicken dinners so popular? Here are some of my observations.
The concept of Battle Royale games was fairly new to Indians during the beginning of 2018. PUBG Corp and Tencent Games took an early advantage to release the game in the market way before its competition. This mainly had two adverse effects. It was one of the first battle royale games that mobile gamers, especially in India, were introduced and got familiar with. Secondly, Fortnite, which is the biggest battle royale game worldwide, launched way too late. In fact, Fortnite is still not available on the Google Play store for Android users and one has to download the game from the company’s website making it a hassle.
If you have ever played or even seen Fortnite, you would know that the graphics on PUBG Mobile are far more realistic. Be it the weaponry, the characters, locations, everything seems to be inspired from real-life. This makes the gameplay more immersive and intense and probably one of the reasons why mobile gamers in India prefer it over other games. At least I do since it also reminds me of my early teenage years playing Counter-Strike with my clan members.
Most games on mobile are now available for free. There might be in-game purchases, but you can still experience the game without missing out on the action. The past few years have seen a major boom in the Indian smartphone market. Not only do we have a plethora of devices available in various price segments, the arrival of Reliance Jio led to a transformation in the mobile connectivity department as 4G data became way affordable and easier to access.
Regularly Updated Content
While it’s a tried and tested formula for any mobile game, the developers behind PUBG Mobile are doing a great job by pushing out regular updates. Apart from having a three-month season system, the game is frequently updated with new clothes and accessories for your character, new weaponry, map updates with various weather options, and so much more. This not only pushes you to get the latest gear, but it also adds variety when things start to get boring.
It hasn’t even been a year since PUBG Mobile launched, but if you just search PUBG Mobile on any of the social media platforms, you are going to see a massive community. From Youtube streamers to researchers and information leakers, there is so much information that you can digest off the community. I personally follow a bunch of YouTubers to understand and formulate strategies to improve my gameplay. There are tutorials, tips and tricks and so much out there that one feels a part of the PUBG Mobile family.