Garena Free Fire Set to Return to India Following Ban

After a year of disappointment for fans following the ban of the popular mobile battle royale game, Garena Free Fire, by the Indian government, there’s some exciting news. Garena is making a triumphant return with the game under a new name: Free Fire India“. Let’s dive into the essential information you should be aware of.

Free Fire India Prepares for a Grand Comeback

Taking a page from Battlegrounds Mobile India’s playbook, the Singapore-based gaming company is all set to reintroduce the title to Indian players. The official relaunch of Free Fire India is scheduled for September 5, 2023, featuring India-specific enhancements.

Drawing inspiration from the relaunch of Battlegrounds Mobile India earlier this year, Garena is making changes to cater to the Indian gaming community. To begin with, the game will utilize Yotta’s cloud-hosting infrastructure in India. This MeitY-approved company will handle the storage and security of Indian gamers’ personal data. Yotta is also working towards establishing local servers and network connectivity for upcoming Free Fire events within the country.

In addition to data-related improvements, the game will feature content tailored for Indian audiences. To ensure safe gaming, a verification system will be in place, enabling parental oversight, gameplay limits, and reminders for breaks.

As part of their outreach strategy, Garena has enlisted Indian cricket icon MS Dhoni as the game’s ambassador. Dhoni will also be immortalized in the game as a playable character named “Thala.” But that’s not all, the lineup of famous Indian sports stalwarts including football captain Sunil Chhetri, tennis legend Leander Paes, badminton champion Saina Nehwal, and kabaddi champion Rahul Chaudhari.

Marking its return, Free Fire India will organize a flagship tournament later this month, open to teams across the nation. The victorious team will earn the honor of representing India at the Free Fire World Series in Thailand.

Earlier, Garena had to remove the survival shooter from the Indian app store and Play Store, following the Indian government’s crackdown on apps affiliated with China. This decision was triggered by concerns about user data being stored on a cloud service provider based in China.

Gang Ye, Co-Founder of Garena, expressed enthusiasm about “delivering a localized and engaging experience for Indian users“. He emphasized the partnership with Yotta, which promises top-notch gameplay quality and data protection. Garena also demonstrates its commitment to nurturing India’s esports and startup ecosystem, with the upcoming tournament being just the beginning.

Darshan Hiranandani, Co-Founder and Chairman of Yotta, hailed the partnership with Garena as a “significant endorsement of progress in India’s data center industry“. He believes the collaboration will further bolster technology ties between India and Singapore.

(L to R): Darshan Hiranandani, Yotta Co-founder/chairman, H.E. Simon Wong, High Commissioner of Singapore to India, and Garena co-founder Gang Ye

While the platforms haven’t been officially confirmed, it’s likely that the game will be available on the Google Play Store and App Store. The government’s stance on whether the game will have a provisional launch, akin to Battlegrounds Mobile India, remains unclear. However, the Yotta-Garena partnership might provide some leeway. Regardless, we’re eagerly anticipating the game’s journey and its role in shaping esports growth in India.

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