From a small town in Siliguri, West Bengal, Amit Sharma has been creating waves in the Indian video game content creation scene for quite some time now.
One of the most popular Free Fire Youtubers, “Desi Gamers,” a.k.a “Amitbhai,” boasts over 10 million subscribers on the platform. He is often known for doing some incredible collaborations with the likes of Ajjubhai and The Rawknee Games.
In a recent conversation with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, Sharma discussed his childhood in Siliguri and how the experiences of his formative years helped him grow as a content creator. He also opened up about the vision behind his channel and how Krafton’s Battlegrounds Mobile India could impact India's mobile gaming scene.
The following is an excerpt of the conversation.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and what life is like beyond the persona of “Desi Gamers” and “Amitbhai.”
Sharma: I hail from Siliguri, West Bengal, and live with my family here. I graduated from North Bengal University and am passionate about entertaining people by playing games. Having been brought up in a closely-knit community, I enjoy spending time with my family and the people of my village.
However, I hardly had any friends from my age group in my village and often spent time with seniors. They used to call me “Amitbhai,” which I instantly liked. That is how the name “Amitbhai” came into being.
Q. What inspired you to get into content creation? Is there a special anecdote on how you started and what helped you keep grinding to make content regularly?
Sharma: More than pro gameplay, entertaining people is what I've always wanted to do. I love making people happy, and that is what pushes me to create more content.
The Rawknee Games inspired me to create engaging and entertaining gaming content and start my journey on YouTube.
Q. What is the atmosphere like at home? How do your parents feel about your career as a full-time YouTuber?
Sharma: It's a normal atmosphere at home. Initially, they didn’t understand gaming and YouTube, but they always supported me to do what I love doing. Even when they didn’t know much about this industry, they believed that I was doing some good work. After I revealed my income from YouTube, they gained more confidence and allowed me to pursue gaming as a full-time career opportunity. I am thrilled to have been able to make them proud.
Q. You and Ajjubhai of Total Gaming share an extraordinary relationship. Can you talk to us about the dynamic that the two of you share, along with some of the cherished memories on and off the platform?
Sharma: I remember meeting Ajjubhai when I had about 50K subscribers, and he had about 100-200K. It was a fun stream by Ajjubhai, which I joined and immediately connected with him. This happened after a friend of mine introduced us. Since he hasn’t revealed anything about himself yet, this is all I can share on this topic.
Q. It’s safe to say that Free Fire is the game on which your channel is built. What about the title that attracts you so much that you have endlessly created content on it?
Sharma: Yes, I built my channel by playing Free Fire. I chose this game because I started my channel with a 3 GB ram device. It is the perfect game for it. Minimum size, good game, and low-end device requirements were the main reasons to pick it.
Q. With the introduction of Riot Games’ Valorant, PC gaming in India is slowly gaining steam. With that in mind, how do you feel about the future of Free Fire and other mobile battle royale games?
Sharma: India has a huge audience, and everyone loves PC games too. However, not everyone has access to a gaming PC. But they have a smartphone. So, I feel any game that is readily available on mobile will get some added advantage as mobile gaming will exponentially boom further in the next few years.
Q. Your channel pulls in audiences from all across India. What is the demographic that you attract the most with your YouTube persona?
Sharma: I always wanted people to connect with me over my gameplay. With a motto merely to entertain people, I create content consumed by varied demographics – teenagers to young adults. It is a content consumption platform for anyone looking to get entertained and have a good laugh.
Q. When it comes to the Free Fire vs. PUBG Mobile debate, do you feel that that the former has been able to surpass the latter in terms of popularity and community engagement when PUBGM was at its prime?
Sharma: Free Fire got a good milage after PUBG’s ban but hasn’t been able to surpass that. PUBGM was a game of another level. Also, I don’t really understand this Free Fire vs PUBG debate. Everyone has a unique taste. It’s important to let people play what they love and have a great time.
Q. Can Desi Gamers fans expect to see their favorite YouTuber stream and create content on other games which is not Free Fire?
Sharma: After PUBG's ban in India, I realized that I couldn’t stick to just one game. So, yeah, that incident has changed my mind. I started playing Minecraft, and I will also play more other games soon in the coming days.
Q. Any word of advice you can provide for the young and upcoming talent of YouTube content creators who are still struggling to leave their mark in the gaming industry?
Sharma: If you have talent, don’t hide it or wait for the right time. Just explore it on the platform you like and see how it goes.
Q. What are your views on PUBG returning to India as Battlegrounds Mobile India?
Sharma: I am extremely excited to see the new trailer launch announcing its comeback. PUBG streamers had a tough time after it got banned in India. I feel its comeback will help the gaming community grow further by many folds.
With the popularity that PUBG has in India, I am sure that many streamers will flock to Battlegrounds Mobile India the day it is launched. I am also happy to learn that data protection is their priority. It looks like they will be storing Indian player data within the country. I am looking forward to playing Battlegrounds Mobile India.