File image: FAU-G game poster
One of the key names in India's PUBG (Player's Unknown Battlegrounds) world, Animesh Agarwal, has tried the recently launched online game 'Fearless and United Guards', better known as FAU-G.
Soon after its launch in India, PUBG had become synonymous with mobile gaming. The game's growth was due to many key stakeholders and one of them is Agarwal who has been instrumental in building the PUBG Mobile community in the country.
Agarwal, who is also known as 'Thug' in the world of PUBG, not only participated in the multiplayer battle royale game's tournaments, but also launched his own company 8bit that helps new players and manages influencers, among other things.
Now, after the launch of FAU-G, a new game in the esports space, Agarwal says it is a decent start for an Indian IP (intellectual property).
"The game looks good so far. There are few problems with the technique of game play but that is not a major issue because it is a beta version and the game is likely to see changes going forward. There are no guns and only fist and sticks are available in the game. So, it is a different concept which I have not seen before," Agarwal said.
As a professional gamer, Agarwal said he is not only looking for more action sequences in the game, but also better graphics and increased flexibility with the controls. "These are the three things that appeal to every gamer," according to Agarwal.
"PUBG is one of the biggest mobile titles across the globe and then you are comparing it with a newly launched game. There is no comparison both in type of game it (FAU-G) is and also in terms of quality. The Indian developers have done a good job," he said when asked about how the game fares in comparison to PUBG.
FAU-G has been developed by an Indian game development company nCORE which is headquartered in Bengaluru.
Agarwal believes that while it is a good start for FAU-G, gamers can expect more improvements to the game.
But, unlike PUBG, there seems to be no scope of earning from FAU-G. "Right now I don't see any scope of making money from content creation or from esports perspective. YouTubers finished the game in one stream and that was it," Agarwal said.
Along with big prize pool that gamers won at PUBG tournaments, which ranged between 20 lakh to 50 lakh, streaming was another source of income.
According to estimates, a PUBG gamer just after a few months of streaming could earn anywhere between Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 per stream. Additionally, PUBG gamers had sponsorship revenues which contributed to their overall income.
"Tencent (the company that developed the mobile version of PUBG) had a lot of interest in India, so there were many tournaments with a good prize pool. There was a lot of ease of access thanks to cheap internet. Also, PUBG was first of its kind game on mobile which was simple to play. PUBG had better graphics than any other game and YouTubers also popularized it by streaming," Agarwal explained.
As these are still early days for FAU-G which was launched on January 26, there is a long way to go for the game in terms of getting more traction or making its name in the esports space.
Agarwal pointed out that for players and content creators, it is the game's quality that matters. So, it looks like the Indian developers of FAU-G will be working on offering better game quality to Indian gamers.