Indonesian Minister threatens to ban Free Fire citing negative cultural impact on children

Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno has reportedly threatened to ban Free Fire in Indonesia. The reason behind a potential ban is stated to be the negative cultural impact that the game is inflicting on the youth, especially underage children. As per the minister, the game inflicts “child violence” and hence is under scrutiny by the authorities.

This is not the first time, Free Fire has come under fire from local authorities of a country. The game and the developers Garena have previously been under heavy pressure from local authorities of various countries and many countries have been planning on banning the game. Bangladesh High Court ordered a ban on the game a couple of years back alongside ministers of Nepal asking for the same treatment for the game citing health issues.

The game has had an on-and-off relationship with the Indian authorities as well with the game now being set to release again, with servers set in Mumbai after being banned by the government due to data security reasons. The game, Free Fire was about to get a Ban in Indonesia a couple of years back for the same reasons, citing child violence, however this time as reported by Dunia Games, Free Fire is even closer to getting a potential ban in the country.

The primary concern for the child protection authorities of Indonesia, LPAI, and KPAI, remains the same, and that is the cultural impact that the game has on the youth and its future implications. The minister said, “This decisive action is important to prevent the massive existence of games that are recently considered to be triggering adverse effects on underage children“.

Indonesia is an important market and a ban would lose Free Fire a lot of audience

Indonesia is an important market for mobile game developers, and a ban in Indonesia would lose Free Fire a huge chunk of its audience. It will be really interesting to see how the studio will respond and whether the ban is implemented.

Free Fire OB41 Advance Server
Image via Garena

Games like PUBG Mobile, and Free Fire despite being very popular do run a risk of being banned because of the gunplay and especially because of them being appealing to the younger audience, countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Jordan have already banned the game and it won’t be surprising if it gets banned in Indonesia too.

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