BGMI was made unavailable for download from the Google Play Store and App Store on July 28. Since then, several statements have surfaced online, but the game is yet to make a comeback. Meanwhile, several other titles have come to the forefront.
Ocean Sharma is a renowned name in the Indian gaming community. The popular caster has been among the Battlegrounds Mobile India faithful waiting for the title's return for months now.
In an exclusive interview with Samarjit Paul of Sportskeeda Esports, Ocean opined on the suspension of BGMI, the future of esports in India, and his wish to return to livestreaming. Below mentioned is an excerpt from the conversation.
Popular caster Ocean Sharma remarks on BGMI suspension and its dire effects
Q. Talking about Red Bull and MEO, they have strived towards developing esports and gaming in India. What are your views on their work?
Ocean: This was the fifth edition of RedBull MEO in India. When esports in the country saw a huge boom, RedBull witnessed it in the best way. They realized that there are games other than BGMI that constitute esports.
They have been exploring games like Clash of Clans and World Cricket Championship, and are inviting influencers and gamers to showcase their talent before a larger audience.
Q. You have closely analyzed a lot of players, do you think the current suspension has had a similar impact to the one on PUBG Mobile?
Ocean: The suspension has had a mixed impact. While last time, we had no clue about the future, this time around we matured enough to realize that the developers are giving their best to get the game back to the market. So that's been the positive side.
On the other hand, the suspension had a negative impact on the esports ecosystem. Last time around, we achieved the runner-up slot in PMWL East 2020, but growth stalled with the ban on PUBG Mobile, and we watched our teams struggle in recent global tournaments. This time around as well, the break will push us back further down the line.
Q. Following the suspension, different games are getting recognition. Which games do you think will make a huge impact on the Indian gaming community?
Ocean: Apex Legends Mobile has huge potential. It offers a very high-paced Battle Royale experience to players. However, it has a negative side as it requires high-end phones.
Another game that I think should keep on growing is New State Mobile. Even if BGMI comes back, gamers should continue playing New State Mobile.
Even COD Warzone Mobile can also have great growth once it releases in India. However, it comes down to Activision on how they can optimize the game and release it in the market. I hope they don't mess it up like they did for COD Mobile.
Meanwhile, Valorant Mobile's growth can be dicey. It depends on the availability of claw setups that BGMI players are used to. With new games comes great responsibility for sustenance (on the publisher's part).
Q. When will we see you get back to regular livestreaming?
Ocean: Right now, I am working on a couple of things related to sports for which I have to travel a lot. The schedule is really hectic, and I don't have time to be at my place and stream for at least a couple of hours. However, I really miss streaming, and I am hopeful of returning to live streaming by the turn of the year.
Q. You have successfully established yourself as one of the most popular BGMI and esports casters. Who is your favorite co-caster?
Ocean: It has always been Fyxs. I believe it's because of the fact that we complement each other as a color caster and a hype caster duo. It's very important to have that understanding in between. While Johnny has also been a great co-caster, he has now transitioned into a desk host.
Q. Can you provide us with any news about the game's return to the Indian market?
Ocean: I have heard rumors about BGMI making its comeback in the first few months of 2023. However, since these are rumors, I am not paying heed to them. Again, as the news is from a good source, it can be true.
Q. We see gamers and content creators achieving great things. Any message to upcoming talents who wish to make a career out of gaming?
Ocean: I have a few suggestions for upcoming talents. Firstly, I believe young gamers should have an academic degree as a backup, which might help them if gaming does not work out.
Secondly, those who are giving up due to a lack of devices should find a way to earn them. I conducted tuition sessions when I needed a device. Lastly, for content creators/YouTubers who are disheartened due to lack of views, they should try out other games. Sometimes it's better that way.