FAU-G, India’s Take on Battle Royale, Looks Like a Wasted Opportunity

By Bill Toulas / September 5, 2020

The ban of PUBG (Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds) in India has been met with negative feelings by the local gaming community, as millions of players have suddenly lost their favorite entertainment source. Simultaneously, though, the massive void created from this event offered a big opportunity for local developers to capture large chunks of player-base that would now roam around like lost souls.

We have already given you seven great non-Chinese alternatives to try in India, all able to scratch your “battle royale” itch, but the first news about local efforts has also just emerged.

Yesterday, the Bengaluru-based game developer ‘nCore Games’ has announced the imminent launch of “Fearless and United: Guards (FAU-G),” setting the release date to some point in October 2020.

The team behind the new game is investing in the currently strong anti-Chinese sentiment in India, promising to donate 20% of its net revenues to a state-backed trust, and give details about the first level of the game being based on the Galwan Valley. This is a location at the Himalayan border, where real tensions between Indian and Chinese army forces manifest. At least 20 Indian soldiers have been killed during military conflicts in this particular area since June.

As much as the nCore PR is trying to convince the local audience that the FAU-G game has been under development for months now, there’s a lot of mocking, degrading, and ridicule going on against them. It seems that nCore has been formed just now to create something that is essentially a cheap copy of PUBG. Getting angry players to accept an alternative is hard, but it gets even worse when that alternative looks like a knock-off.

nCore has contracted actor Akshay Kumar to help them promote the upcoming title, and the celebrity found himself on the receiving end of many conspiracy theories claims, reasonable questions about the game’s development, and many thoughts around who (and what funds) are behind this project.

All in all, FAU-G is a wasted opportunity to capture the orphaned player-base of PUBG in India, drowned in an overly unneeded mist of surreptitiousness. Creating a PUBG equivalent so quickly is an unrealistic expectation. Still, Indian developers could do better by focusing on the development of fun FPS games with unique spins that would bring something new to the scene. Hopefully, someone in India is already working on it.

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