You would think that the ban on PUBG Mobile in India would affect its popularity, but that does not seem to be the case. In fact, the game seems to be just as popular for viewers as it was earlier.
According to some analysis shared by Esports Charts PUBG Mobile’s Hindi viewership is still the second-highest among all the languages despite the ban on the game in India.
PUBG Mobile vs Garena Free Fire: A battle of viewership
The report seems to show that the Hindi viewership of PUBG Mobile is at 29.2% right behind Bahasa Indonesia which is the most popular and contributes to 33.9%. This percentage on a total of 134.6 million viewers worldwide for PUBG Mobile. Though we have to keep in mind that this report only considers esports events that took place in 2020.
And the report does show that the ban had a hit on the PUBG Mobile viewership and Garena Free Fire did capitalize on it. The Indian viewership of Free Fire was only at 0.39% back in August 2020, which grew to 6.81% after the ban in September, and 9.9% in December. This makes it a considerable jump for Garena Free Fire viewership from India.
On a global scale though, the viewership of PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire have seen ups and downs which were mainly related to the tournaments going on at the time. There were months where PUBG Mobile overshadowed Free Fire viewership by a huge margin and the vice-versa in other months.
Both PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire have been large success stories in 2020 and that is primarily because it has been nurturing the local esports scene in different countries. That in turn has created a loyal base of viewers. Like in India, people are still watching the game even if they can’t play it anymore officially.