Battlegrounds Mobile India is expected to bring about a significant change in the Indian esports scene as it is today.
Along with prominent tournament organizers, online personalities have given very expressive thought to what the community can expect when Krafton’s title officially goes live.
The founder / CEO of Skyesports, Shiva Nandy, also gave his opinion on BGMI. In a special interaction with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, he spoke about the esports ecosystem that Battlegrounds Mobile India was supposed to create.
Here is an excerpt from the conversation.
F. PUBG Mobile was the most prominent leader in the Indian mobile esports scene before the ban. With its longstanding success in mind, how well do you think Battlegrounds Mobile India will do after the beta (Early Access) finally arrives?
Shiva: We’re seeing a massive response from the Indian community to Battlegrounds Mobile India’s Early Access. The game has already reached over five million downloads and most streamers are producing viewer numbers as before, if not higher. Esports teams are also starting to reveal their roster.
With these statistics, I’m sure the game will regain its former glory. Despite the 10 month gap since the game was banned, its community has gone nowhere.
Q. How well do you think Battlegrounds Mobile India will compare to PUBG Mobile in terms of domestic and overseas engagement and community participation? Do you think it will only create a thriving market for the community in India itself?
Shiva: In terms of engagement, India is already a leading market for the game. We have a vibrant community that will no doubt grow stronger with BGMI.
India’s mobile esports community is comparable to most regions of the world, except perhaps Southeast Asia.
As I said, the game is already producing numbers as before. I don’t think it’s a question of whether BGMI can create a thriving community, but how big it will be.
Games like Valorant, Free Fire and Clash of Clans are growing in popularity in India, and upcoming titles like Valorant Mobile and Apex Legends Mobile will only add to the competition.
F. PUBG Mobile was one of the biggest titles Skyespsorts held regular events for. After the ban, they focused a little more on exclusive PC games, and helped make games like Riot Game’s Valorant significant community appeal. Will your focus shift back to Krafton’s title when BGMI goes live later this year?
Shiva: Skyesports is known for hosting multiple game titles. We have never limited ourselves to a single title. In 2020 alone, we held tournaments for nine games.
BGMI will certainly be one of the titles in our competitions, but it won’t be our only focus. We want to see a diversified gaming community in India that will never stop the grassroots events for other games.
Q. What were some of the more notable similarities and differences you noticed between Battlegrounds Mobile India and PUBG Mobile since Early Access is finally live?
Shiva: The game is pretty much the same except for a few elements like no red blood that Krafton added to reduce the violent aspect of the title.
Since this is a pure India title, I expected a lot from the localization of Battlegrounds Mobile India in regional flavors. This includes multilingual support where all graphics and voiceovers are translated into regional languages.
Unfortunately this didn’t happen, but I look forward to it in the upcoming updates. Although BGMI is designed for gamers 18 and older, publishers should have regulations and in-game surveillance in local languages to avoid toxic, hate speech and offensive language.
Q. Are there any plans from Skyesports for Battlegrounds Mobile India once it is finally officially released?
Shiva: Yes! We plan to add Battlegrounds Mobile India to our annual flagship IP, the Skyesports Championship 3.0, which recently came with a huge prize pool of Rs. 55 lakhs.
Apart from that, we are also planning to organize more regional and broad tournaments.