Sea Limited was founded under the name Garena in Singapore in 2009 by Forrest Li, a graduate of Shanghai Jiaotong University and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Garena was originally intended to be a game development and publishing company, but later expanded to become a tech conglomerate which also offered financial services and e-commerce. Following a rebranding to Sea in 2017, the digital entertainment branch retained its name as Garena.
That same year, Free Fire launched as a battle royale multiplayer game and swiftly found international success. It was the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2019 and grew to become a significant stream of revenue for Garena.
In 2021, Garena released a graphically enhanced version, Free Fire Max, which has yet to surpass the original release in revenue generation. The two apps were the most downloaded shooter games in 2022 at over 100 million each, according to AppMagic.
Free Fire has become one of the “Big 3” shooter mobile games along with PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile following the removal of Fortnite from the App Store and Google Play in August 2020. This trio earns the majority of revenue in the genre, which has been falling in popularity more rapidly than other game sub-sectors.
At the beginning of 2022, India banned Free Fire and 53 other apps which were considered as a threat to the country’s security; Free Fire Max remained available on the Google Play store. According to data.ai, Free Fire had been the second most downloaded app in the country, and had had the highest consumer spend. While Sea is based in Singapore, its biggest shareholder is the Chinese social media company Tencent Holdings. Annual revenue for Free Fire and for Sea fell significantly in 2022, which has been partially attributed to the Indian ban.
Since 2019, Free Fire has also ran esports competitions, with its World Series becoming the most-watched esports event in history with 5.4 million live viewers in 2021. These regional events are available globally and offer multi-million dollar jackpots.
Free Fire has been accused by PUBG Mobile’s developer Krafton of copyright infringement, and in January 2022 the company filed a lawsuit against Garena citing similarities in game items, mechanics and look. Apple and Google are also included in the lawsuit, which has not yet been settled, for distributing the game.
We have collected data and statistics on Free Fire. Read below to find out more.
Free Fire Key Statistics
- Free Fire generated almost $500 million in 2022, a fall from $1.2 billion the previous year
- The game was downloaded 262.3 million times last year following its ban in India in January
- Around 41 million users play Free Fire daily – similar to pre-pandemic levels
Free Fire Overview
|Launch date||December 2017|
|People||Forrest Li (Chairman, CEO), Terry Zhao (President)|
Free Fire Revenue
Free Fire’s annual revenue has fallen from a peak of $2.1 billion in 2020 to $500 million in 2022, following the Indian government’s ban on the game.
Free Fire annual revenue 2018 to 2022 ($bn)
Free Fire Users
Daily active users of Free Fire were around 41 million in 2022, following a high of 150 million users the previous year.
Free Fire annual daily active users 2019 to 2022 (mm)
Sources: Company data, Fan Space
Free Fire Downloads
Monthly downloads of Free Fire peaked in October 2021 at 34 million, with 262.3 million downloads last year.
Free Fire annual downloads 2020 to 2022 (mm)
Free Fire FAQ
How many times has the Free Fire app been installed?
In 2022, Free Fire was installed 109 million times.
How many game modes are available to play?
Free Fire offers over 15 game modes including Battle Royale, Clash Squad, Explosive Jump and Team Deathmatch.
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