Garena’s free fire launch in India faces delay

Published on:

Garena, the gaming division of Sea, has faced delays in launching its popular mobile game Free Fire in India, despite announcing plans to do so more than six months ago. This delay has raised concerns among entrepreneurs and investors observing Sea’s expansion efforts in the lucrative South Asian gaming market. Initially slated for release on September 5th, Free Fire’s arrival in India has been repeatedly pushed back.

As reported by TechCrunch, Yanjun Wang, Group Chief Corporate Officer at Sea, stated during an earnings call this week that the company is still fine-tuning the game to accommodate local user preferences, with no significant developments to report.

The absence of Free Fire has left its Indian fanbase frustrated, with many gamers opting for alternatives like Krafton’s BGMI. This disappointment follows India’s 2022 ban on Free Fire and other Chinese apps, which prompted Sea to halt its Shopee operations in the country after months of testing. The move drew criticism from local retailers, concerned about unfair competition.

While India initially banned Krafton’s PUBG, the company’s subsequent release of a similar title has reclaimed its status as the country’s most popular game. As Sea continues to navigate challenges in bringing Free Fire back to India, the gaming landscape in the region remains dynamic and competitive.