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Exclusive interview with Garena and Free Fire influencers

  • A Q&A session with Garena and Free Fire influencers about the future of the game and the recent meetup in Goa.
Modified 05 Mar 2020, 08:04 IST

Free Fire influencers in Goa Free Fire YouTubers at the influencer party in Goa, India.
Free Fire influencers in Goa Free Fire YouTubers at the influencer party in Goa, India.

Free Fire is one of the biggest Battle Royale games on mobile right now. The game boasts a huge player base, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. According to a report by App Annie, Free Fire was the most downloaded mobile game of 2019 and with the announcement of four more global tournaments, Garena is pushing the bar even further in 2020.

Sportskeeda got an opportunity to interview Garena about the mantra behind the game’s success and the future of Free Fire.

Q. Free Fire has always been a game that has worked with its community to provide the best possible version of the game. Can you tell us more about the community meetup at Goa that was held recently?

Free Fire YouTubers at the influencer party in Goa, India.

At Garena, our mission is to build a global community of passionate gamers – whoever or wherever they may be. Our recent YouTube influencer party in Goa – the first of its kind for Garena Free Fire in India – was an extension of that. It brought together over 20 of the nation’s top Free Fire streamers on YouTube for two days of fellowship and bonding.

These streamers are the voices of the Free Fire community. We met up with them to engage them with our plans for the game – to excite them further and to spark new content ideas. We also had Garena developers on-site to hear their thoughts on what they like about Free Fire and how we can further improve the game.

We also wanted to recognize their efforts in supporting Free Fire and adding to our thriving online community; many of them develop Free Fire content on a daily basis and are linchpins of our community.

Finally, we wanted to give our streamers the opportunity to get to know each other firsthand and further strengthen the bonds in our Free Fire community. So, we made sure the meet-up offered them plenty of opportunities to get to know one another better, such as team-building activities, including beach volleyball and tug of war.

Free Fire streamers engage in a game of tug of war
Free Fire streamers engage in a game of tug of war

Q. Although there are a plethora of Battle Royale games available on mobile, Free Fire has stayed at the top for a long period. What is it that makes Free Fire so unique that it always keeps the community upbeat?

What makes Free Fire stand out is our dedication to building a global community of passionate gamers – whoever or wherever they may be.

One of the key ways we do this is through our esports events, which are some of the most-anticipated and most-watched globally. To make sure that members of the Free Fire community can participate, we make sure to hold local tournaments in the markets where our players are – across North America, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and of course, India. 

These tournaments provide talented local players the opportunity to compete at the highest level and eventually cumulates in a global tournament where the winning teams from each region compete with teams from all over the world.

● For example, the Free Fire World Series finals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 16 November 2019 saw 12 teams from across the world battle it out for the world championship title.

● India represented by Team Nawabzade, who were the winners of the Free Fire India Today League (FFITL).

Team Nawabzade lifts the Free Fire India Today League (FFITL) trophy.
Team Nawabzade lifts the Free Fire India Today League (FFITL) trophy.

We couple this with a strong focus on localization. For instance, our Free Fire tournaments are live-streamed in local languages, allowing fans to enjoy the event in their native tongue.

● The FFITL was live-streamed in both English and Hindi, and saw more than 3.6 million views on Free Fire India’s official YouTube channel.

To reinforce our commitment to community building on a global scale, we have social media channels to share localized content with our Free Fire community in India as well.

Facebook: More than 16 million followers (as on 21 Feb)

YouTube: More than 1.1 million subscribers (as on 21 Feb)

We also develop localized campaigns for players to enjoy national events.

● Last year, we launched a Diwali campaign with localized in-game items and promotions for players in India to celebrate the festival.

Q. Free Fire recently collaborated with Ragnarok, which has been received very well by the community. Can you elaborate on how this collaboration took place?

At Garena, we’re gamers too, so we’re constantly looking to deliver novel experiences to excite our players. One of these ways is through partnerships, the most recent of which was the one with Gravity to bring Ragnarok content to Free Fire.

Our research and understanding informed us that Ragnarok is well-loved by our Free Fire players, many of whom grew up with the game. Through our collaboration with Gravity, we incorporated into Free Fire classic Ragnarok favorites like Assassin Cross, Poring, and Mr. Smile Mask – to invoke in our players the strong fond memories they had playing Ragnarok.

Q. Garena has announced a bunch of big-name tournaments for Free Fire in 2020 and everyone is eagerly waiting for them. Is there anything else to look forward to as a Free Fire fan?

We can’t give away any spoilers, but we have plenty in the pipeline for players to look forward to. 

Sportskeeda also caught up with popular Free Fire influencers Sunita Thapa and Promit Banarjee on the recent Free Fire influencer’s meet up in Goa.

Q. How does it feel to be a flag bearer of the Indian Free Fire community and how was your experience being a part of the Free Fire meetup in Goa?

Sunita Thapa, Youtube Channel – Sooneta with over 1.17M subscribers said, “It’s truly a life-changing experience to be a part of such an amazing community. The audience of the Free Fire community and the officials at Garena truly work towards the betterment of the gaming community. The growth of Free Fire is truly commendable. I feel really grateful to be in a position where my audience has brought me. The support and love they have for the whole community is endless. I hope our community keeps growing in the coming days.

The Goa meetup was one of the first of its kind in our community and was really a great idea for strengthening the bond of the streaming community. We got to meet a lot of other creators from different locations, discussed content and growth ideas with each other and got to know each other in person, which was an awesome experience. To be around the people who have the same kind of ideas and a common love for the game and its community was truly heartening. On top of that, the beauty of Goa made it an over the top experience for me personally. It will be the most memorable experience for me for years to come!”

Promit Banerjee, Youtube Channel – Free Fire Gamer’s Zone with over 883K subscribers said,“I feel very proud and also responsible for being a flag bearer of the Indian Freefire Community. Whatever I'm today is because of the support from my audience and Freefire India. So it is also my responsibility to make the Free Fire community stronger every day.

I have been on trips and meetups many times before, but the Goa Influencer Meet Up was a totally different experience. It was a great opportunity to meet so many influencers, especially our Free Fire managers and YouTube officials together. I got to learn a lot of new things. We tried a lot of fun games and shared our ideas with each other which would be very helpful for me in enhancing my work. I find myself very lucky to have been a part of this enriching experience.

Thanks, Garena!”

Published 05 Mar 2020, 08:04 IST
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