A great year for gamers and the gaming industry, 2020 was a turnaround for many mobile gamers in India who focused on PUBG Mobile. One of the most popular games in India until September last year, the title was banned on privacy grounds, causing a massive shift in the Indian mobile gaming scene.
The ban left many game-streamers in the country with a lack of content to post online on their channels. However, Ajay ‘ajjubhai94’, better known as Total Gaming, one of India’s biggest YouTube game streamers, remained largely unaffected by the ban. The gamer reveals that one of the reasons he did not ‘run out’ of content was because he tried new games as well.
“While it is a need to create a niche by excelling at one game, gamers have to be versatile and invest some time in playing new games as well,” Ajay explains.
While some were still using unofficial methods to run PUBG Mobile post the ban, a large chunk of PUBG players in the country eventually stopped using the often complex methods to play the game. This led to many recently turned gaming enthusiasts look at other titles like Call of Duty Mobile and Garena Free Fire.
“2020 was indeed a phenomenal year for gaming companies and gamers alike. However, it did lay a difficult road for the gaming professionals and content creators who were solely playing PUBG,” he adds. “These gamers who were only playing PUBG not only witnessed a huge drop in their income/revenue after the app was banned in India but also learned that they have to invest their time in playing multiple games.”
Ajay started his YouTube channel for gaming back in October 2018. However, he wasn’t able to venture into PUBG Mobile like many others. “I had seen many gamers playing PUBG on mobile, but owning a phone with limited space, I couldn’t. That is when I discovered Free Fire which could easily be played on my phone,” Ajay explained, adding that Free Fire was the very first game the YouTuber ever played.
Three years on, his Total Gaming is one of India’s biggest streamers on YouTube. With 23 million subscribers, Ajay is the first Indian gamer to hit the 3 billion collective views mark. He largely streams on YouTube, where the gamer claims he is able to reach 10-12 times more viewership. “I always wanted to create candid and entertaining gaming content. I also wanted to be accessible to a larger audience, and YouTube offered me exactly that,” he adds.
Ajay maintains a peaceful private life away from YouTube fame by never revealing either his face or his full name. However, his success continues as the gamer also occasionally streams other games besides Free Fire, a title he is “emotionally attached” with. These include PC games like Rockstar Games’ GTA series or Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series.
“Apart from Free Fire, Minecraft and GTA (Grand Theft Auto) is something I enjoy playing. While the audiences have been hooked to the Free Fire series that I play usually, I have also received a great response from them for my GTA videos,” Ajay adds.
Ajay adds that he also enjoys playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla the most. The YouTuber has also dubbed the entire game from English to Hindi for his native audiences.
“My recent series of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is gaining a very good response from the audiences. In this series I have dubbed an entire English game to Hindi for my native audiences,” Ajay explains. “Of course there have been a lot of plans, edits, resources, reworks and time & energy that have gone in creating this series, but it was all worth it,” he adds.
The after-effects of the PUBG ban on the gaming community
Ajay mentions that he’d welcome the comeback of PUBG Mobile in the country as long as users’ safety and privacy is not compromised.” But he’s quick to add how Free Fire has taken the spotlight for many Indian mobile gamers.
“Free Fire is more well known worldwide amongst the gaming community than PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile. PUBG mobile does offer great graphics, but putting that aside, I would say Free Fire is more accessible on a majority of mobile devices and offers a better user experience. Therefore, it has a very diverse audience-set and is widely known amongst a specific group.” Ajay adds.
With Free Fire being his top choice for game streaming, Ajay is also not bothered by the rumours of a PUBG Mobile comeback in the country. “This news is making rounds for about two months now with no sign of it launching anytime soon. I do not want to wait for it, and then get disappointed if it is delayed yet again, or not launched. Right now, I just want to focus on other games,” Ajay says.