The ban on PUBG in India has led to a rise in popularity of other gaming apps such as Garena Free Fire, Ludo King and Call of Duty, making them top gainers in terms of download after the government announced the ban on September 2.
Data from Sensor Tower shows that Garena Free Fire, Ludo King and Call of Duty are the top three downloaded games across iOS and Android app stores between September 2 to September 5.
While Garena recorded 2.1 million downloads in the four-day period from India, homegrown gaming app Ludo King registered 1.52 million downloads. Notably, Call of Duty received 1.56 million downloads in the past 30 days of which 1.15 million downloads came in just those four days.
Data also showed that the three apps are leading the Google Play Store’s top chart for gaming categories in India since September 2. On Apple’s App Store, Call of Duty is at the top.
Garena Free Fire was developed by Singapore-based Sea Ltd and Call of Duty by the American tech company Activision Blizzard. Tencent used to hold a 5% stake in Activision through its subsidiary TiMi Studios. However, Activision had recently parted ways with Tencent and TiMi.
On September 2, the Indian government had banned 118 Chinese origin apps, including PUBG. The move has received a mixed response from the esports industry. Some companies said that the decision would impact organisers and broadcasters in India while a section of the industry favoured the move saying it would help the homegrown players.
Soon after the ban, Indian gaming company nCore has announced a PUBG-like gaming app called FAU-G which is slated to launch in October. While the newly announced app has managed to make some buzz on social media, it would be interesting to watch how it lives up to expectations of gaming enthusiasts.