On Tuesday, last week, game fighters fought their last fight on their mobiles as the Ministry of Information and Technology announced an immediate ban on 118 additional mobile apps that originate in China, including the crowd favourite Battle Royale mobile game—PUBG.
The ban of these apps was ostensibly over fears revolving around security, surveillance and data privacy of Indian users but in reality, was a pressure tactic to hit the Chinese where it hurts most – their revenue model – and get them to back down at the border with India.
Both the fighters and the revenue earners from the game were left fuming, but there was nothing they could do to fight the good fight. And then, along came a saviour in the form of a new game – FAU-G (Fearless and United- Guards) – developed by a Bengaluru-based mobile game and interactive entertainment company- nCore.
Before the PUBG-era, first-person shooter games were primarily reserved for PC players. As more and more phone companies started producing smartphones with advanced specifications at affordable prices, PUBG was one of the first to monetize its game app by rolling out the battle-royale version for mobile users in 2018. Ever since then, PUBG has consistently impressed its users with its compatibility with lower-end phones, effortless gameplay, and by rolling out newer game modes previously unheard of; a move that only other games could follow suit.
FAU-G is touted as the atmanirbhar replacement of PUBG and was announced soon after the ban on the latter took effect. Promoting the “Made in India” game, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar tweeted from his account announcing his mentorship role in its development.
According to the tweet, the game was developed following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for the nation to be atmanirbhar— aimed at focusing on building world-class Indian products.
FAU-G will be an action game and its purpose is to teach the players about the sacrifices of our soldiers. It also has an altruistic and patriotic purpose in keeping with the current national sentiment – 20% of the net revenue generated will be donated to the Bharat Ke Veer Trust. This Trust was conceptualized by Akshay Kumar and implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs to support the families of India’s Armed forces martyrs.
The veteran actor also said, “For youngsters in India, gaming is becoming an important form of entertainment. With FAU-G, I’m hoping that as they play the game they will learn about the sacrifices of our soldiers and also contribute to the families of the martyrs; and with this, each one of us has the ability to support PM Modi’s vision of Atma Nirbhar.”
The game, that is expected to be released on both Google Play and Apple Store by the end of October, is “based on real scenarios encountered by the Indian Security Forces to deal with both domestic and foreign threats”. Players will be able to join parties limited to five people, collaborate, and unite to defeat the enemies. The first level will be set in the Galwan Valley followed by third-person shooting gameplay in the subsequent updates. The game will also roll out the crowd favourite battle royale mode in later stages.