Free Fire India ban: Real reason, game status, developer statement, and more revealed

Free Fire has been banned in India ever since February 2022 (Image via Sportskeeda)
Free Fire has been banned in India ever since February 2022 (Image via Sportskeeda)

The unprecedented ban on one of India's most popular mobile games, Free Fire, came as a shock to the battle royale community. Garena’s flagship title was removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store on 12 February 2022.

This was followed by a ban two days later, on 14 February 2022. Luckily, the enhanced version of the battle royale game is still available on the Google Play Store, which is why many Android mobile gamers have the option to switch to the premium version.


Reason behind Free Fire's ban in India

Not just Free Fire but 53 other applications of Chinese origin and clones of previously banned apps were taken down by the Indian government. Players were confused as to why the battle royale game was banned since it was not of Chinese origin. However, it was later revealed that the game compromised the security of the country, which was cited as the reason behind its removal.

In an official statement to Sportskeeda Esports, Garena stated:

“We are aware that Free Fire is currently unavailable in the Google Play and iOS app stores in India and that the game is currently not operable for some users in the country. We are working to address this situation, and we apologize to our users for any inconvenience.”

To address the issue, the Singaporean government reached out to the Indian authorities to confirm if the ban was unintentional. Sea Limited, the parent company of Garena, also reached out and stated the following to Reuters:

"We do not transfer to or store any data of our Indian users in China,"
The share price of Garena's parent company crashed (Image via Sportskeeda)
The share price of Garena's parent company crashed (Image via Sportskeeda)

Quite shockingly, the price of Sea Limited’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange plummeted by a whopping 18.56% as soon as the ban was made official in India. The company wanted to know the exact cause of the ban from India’s technology ministry and stressed that the battle royale game is in tandem with Indian law.

However, gamers don't need to be upset as the servers of Garena’s flagship title are up and running. Hence, they can connect online using a wifi connection and enjoy the battle royale game like they used to.

In case of inconvenience, they can also shift to Free Fire MAX, which allows them to transfer their account using the Firelink technology. The enhanced version has become the most downloaded mobile game in India ever since the ban.

Check out the latest Free Fire MAX redeem codes here.

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Edited by Shaheen Banu