FAU-G (aka Fearless and United Guards) has finally been launched and is now available for download on Google Play. The mobile action game is developed by nCore Games and is a local alternative to PUBG Mobile. It was banned by the government and other Chinese apps in September last year. FAU-G was originally planned to launch in November, but after several delays, the game was finally released on January 26 (Republic Day). At the same time, the number of registrations a few days before the launch of FAU-G is staggering.
According to Vishal Gondal, co-founder and chairman of nCore Games, FAU-G registered more than 4 million at the beginning of this month. Thanks to Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and his hands-on participation in the development of FAU-G (from title to theme song), this game has also become the focus of attention.
FAU-G is now launched on Google Play. In an interview with NDTV, Gondal talked about more detailed information about the game, its target audience, profit strategy and future plans for entering the world of e-sports. You can watch the full interview below, or read the excerpt edited for clarity.
NDTV: Congratulations on the release of the game! FAU-G exceeded 4 million registrations on the first day it was launched on the Google Play store. This is the largest number of pre-registrations in India’s history. Can you tell us more about what players expect from FAU-G when they first download the game?
Vishal Gondal: FAU-G is the developer’s first attempt to create what I call the original Indian story-India IP. This is why I do believe that the response we get is amazing. This is how it works. For example, if you check Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, there are all these foreign shows such as Narcos. But when it comes to Indian movies and Indian performances, they dominate. If you look at any platform, there will always be Indian content and Indian IP. Games are the only place where Indians don’t get high-quality Indian content.
Most games are either Chinese games or Korean games, or games from other parts of the world, so I want to make sure that we provide people with what they like, what they are related to and the connection between them. I think any Indian from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, [one point of interest] We can go all out to contact our soldiers, our Fuji and their sacrifices for the country.
I believe that especially young people do not really realize this because they are immersed in the world of computers or mobile games. Therefore, our idea is not only to let people experience the game played with FAU-G, but actually let them live the life of a soldier and experience life on the front line.
FAU-G is being compared with PUBG. Can you clarify the game similarity (if any) between the two? How is it different or better than PUBG? In addition, PUBG is re-entering India. Are you ready for the game?
In terms of entertainment, there are foreign content, and then local and Indian content. For example, we have Spiderman and we have Krrish. Everyone likes Spider-Man, but you know this is not the story you know. He is in New York. This is not a story that all of us care about. Similarly, although PUBG is a great product, you know that the timeline, storyline and characters are not really what ordinary Indians can think of. In fact, if you see PUBG and the work they do, they are more oriental characters.
Secondly, given PUBG’s loyalty to some of them, I doubt whether PUBG will choose Indian soldiers, especially Indian soldiers fighting the enemy in the border. So, I think as far as FAU-G is concerned, we are working hard to provide Indians with what they think they want Indians want. This is a game experience where they can fight the enemy-just like Call of Duty . For example, “Call of Duty” talks about the world war, the American war in Afghanistan, which is why Western audiences associate “Call of Duty” together because it is the war in which they live, or the participation of their parents or grandparents. war. There will not be much connection with World War II or Afghanistan, so I believe that compared with FAU-G, the obvious difference is our theme and storyline.Check out the conversation we created [for the game]. We have used Hindi and Tamil, so we localized them as much as possible.
Finally, with FAU-G, we also hope to give them the meaning of gameplay. This basically means that when they make any purchases in the game, 20% of our net proceeds will be donated to the Bharat Ke Veer Trust created for the jawbone, which is also a way of how gamers can make a positive contribution to the country the way.
You have previously announced that 20% of the game’s revenue will go to Bharat Ke Veer Trust. But what exactly is the monetization strategy here? Will there be ads or in-app purchases in the game?
For games like FAU-G, which are essentially action games, our greater source of revenue comes from in-app purchases rather than advertising. Therefore, there are a large number of in-app purchase modules. You can buy skins and weapons, etc. We will continue to add more things. Remember, PUBG’s development time is five years, while our development time is less than one year. Therefore, the way the game works is that we continue to release versions that help the game become better.
We also have another very interesting way of monetization, which is merchandise sales. Currently, there is a very interesting concept in the game, which we call Easter Eggs, where people can find and buy Fau-G T-shirts and other goods, which also increases our profitability.
We not only considered the game, but also considered the creation of the entire world of FAU-G, where we integrated merchandising and many things.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar promoted the game through his Twitter and Instagram accounts. How is he still involved in the game and its conception process? Can players expect to see Akshay Kumar-based character skins in the game?
Mr. Akshay’s company is very enthusiastic about our soldiers. In my other company, GOQii, we are in close contact with him. Therefore, when I thought about nCore games, our idea was to make a game based on Indian soldiers. The conceptualization of the game started sometime in 2019, but when the entire Galvan Valley incident occurred, we began to work at this level, and then he really gave us the title. Therefore, the title FAU-G is entirely attributed to Akshay Kumar.
He is the one who thinks about it. He has been deeply involved in our creative process and studied each version of the game. He commented on every character and every weapon.In fact, the theme song, the national anthem, was also composed by Akshay [Kumar] he himself. Again, he is really devoted and enthusiastic to our soldiers. His point is that on the one hand, our young people are playing all these action games, on the other hand we don’t know what our soldiers are actually doing at the border. So this is about storytelling, which is why we started in story mode, we are here to tell you the story of our soldiers. As things progress, we will study other modes, including Battle Royale mode and PvP mode. All I can tell you is that Akshay Kumar has indeed received a lot of support, and his creative superpower has helped us bring FAU-G to the present.
FAU-G drew inspiration from the Galvan Valley incident, but seems to have its own storyline focused on the Sino-Indian conflict. Do you think this might further arouse anti-Chinese sentiment under the current circumstances?
Our game cannot add or delete any information about anti-Chinese sentiment. I think this is indeed related to what happened in reality on the ground. We are just telling a story, and we are just letting most young people who are playing games know this story. In terms of ground reality, we all know the current geopolitical situation. I can only say that the only hope is that the situation will improve, and all these struggles will be limited to mobile games, not in the real world.
We have a problem with the large streamer Gagandeep Singh from India. His question is, will this game be aimed at e-sports games or casual games?
Absolutely, we will participate in e-sports. But the way the game develops is that you don’t directly start the game and participate in e-sports. First start the game, create a community, introduce PvP, and introduce Battle Royale. Once you have enough community, you can engage in e-sports. Therefore, e-sports is something that appears late and cannot appear earlier. Just like any other game. To play a cricket game, you first need many people to participate in cricket matches and state games before the game blows up. Similarly, we believe that FAU-G will eventually enter the field of e-sports, but I would say there are at least eight to twelve months left.
There is also a question from Shagufta Iqbal. Who is the gamer? Her question is whether you need a high-end device running FAU-G or a low-end device running FAU-G?
We now support any platform starting from Android 8. Today, released about four years ago, Android 8 is quite low-end. I want to say that we have reached a very good limit in supporting low-end devices.However, if lower support is required [platforms], We will look into it. I do think that Android 8 is a good choice, but at the same time, if your phone has higher performance in our settings, you can improve performance by setting it as an ultra-high performance mode where the game will have higher performance mode. Rendered resolution and graphics. We even return quality control to the players of the game itself.
-Input from Shayak Majumder.