Battle Stars, an Indian-developed shooter and battle royale title, has passed more than five-million players as the developers reveal ambitious plans for the title.
Battle Stars comes courtesy of SuperGaming - a studio also working on the hotly anticipated title Indus - and was originally released as a shooter title, adding battle royale features shortly after launch. Now, it seems the game is set to expand these features thanks to positive player feedback, as well as continuing its quintessentially Indian design with a new map themed after the capital territory of Delhi.
The game will also be incorporating new features into its battle royale mode, such as trios, power-ups and loot, commonly seen in other titles. It’s a firm indication not only of the popularity of the battle royale genre in India but how including these features in a game can boost its popularity.
Battle Stars game lead and co-founder at SuperGaming, Christelle D’cruz commented, “Season 2 of Battle Stars saw a staggering 20 million matches played. We wanted to take the experience further by bringing Delhi to the game. To do this, we visited Delhi to capture its vibe and culture to bring it in-game as well as taking input from the community. Our new Squad BR features are also based on community feedback.”
BGMI's arch enemy?
Of course, while five-million players is an impressive number, in the tremendously large Indian market it’s a drop in the ocean. The country’s largest battle royale title, BGMI (BattleGrounds Mobile India) - developed by Krafton India - boasted up to 34 million players before it was abruptly pulled from service, only being returned earlier this year. However, it’s worth noting a few things about Battle Stars in comparison to BGMI.
For one, Battle Stars is a relatively new title, having only been released in May 2023. With that in mind the rise to five-million players becomes drastically more impressive. Secondly, it’s a domestically developed product, and wholly Indian as it features popular esports personalities and theming that would instantly resonate with a domestic audience, something SuperGaming have also been eager to push with the “Indo-futurism” theme of their upcoming title, Indus.
Krafton has had a difficult time with PUBG in India, specifically because of its ties to Chinese companies, so a domestic alternative may be preferable not only for patriotic players but also for those wanting to avoid potential delays or difficulties playing their favourite title if BGMI runs into further trouble down the line.
It’s been suggested that BGMI may be suffering a knock to its popularity due to its prolonged absence. And while streaming numbers aren’t always accurate ways to gauge popularity, if the game has passed its prime in terms of esports and streaming, it may be that other competitors can capitalise on bringing something new and fresh to the battlefield.