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The evolutionary journey of Free Fire leading to the 4NNIVERSARY update

Looking back at the 4 years of the game from its launch!

Free Fire, the well-acclaimed 3rd person mobile battle royale shooter is currently celebrating its 4th anniversary. The game has come a long way to becoming the Free Fire we know today, pushing through hardships and doubt from its many competitors. The efforts have been massive from the team of Garena and 111dots Studio, as it has become the most downloaded mobile game in 2020 in just two years after release. It has slowly but steadily spread its fame across the many regions of the world by strategically advancing globally and leaving an unerasable mark on whichever one it set sail for. Its journey to greatness is a long, but well-off one worth sharing with all. Fans will be genuinely interested in knowing how such a once work-in-progress mobile game turned into such a worldwide publication. With many ups and downs on their journey leading to the 4NNIVERSARY update, Free Fire fans will be excited about the future.

Free Fire: The complete 4-year timeline (2017-2021)

Free Fire Launch (2017)

Back in 2017, the game was developed by 111dots studio and then released in Vietnam. Back then, it had a way, way different look and idea going for it. It was a miracle to see how such a buggy game could even be functioning, let alone be playable. Yet, it was considered fun to those that did play it. No one could properly defend the accusation for it looking like an aspiring PUBG. Many elements like its wardrobe, UI, icons, and even customizable buttons look like the famous battle royale game.

Free Fire journey 4NNIVERSARY Update
Free Fire in its early days (Image by Free Fire)

The only difference and something which still keeps Free Fire at an advantage was its compatibility with low-end phones. This has been a feat, which plays a key role in its popularity. Though odd, the game was considerably more balanced and fun as things like paid weapon skins with attributes and character skills weren’t a necessity to purchase. The only mode was a classic and BR map Old Bermuda for which the graphics looked like that of a PSX. There were Adams and Eve’s everywhere, animations looked wacky and glitches appeared all over the place. Modern things like drag shooting or emoting were present while shooting wasn’t invented yet as such complaints were at their minimum. Many thought that it would die out quickly since everything about it looked simplistic and low-budget. Although, neither side could foresee the bright future the game was heading towards.

2018: A new beginning

2018 was the year of changes where the game was finally recommended on App Store pages and gained more traction. It was heading towards its first anniversary and rewarded those players that stuck with it. Free Fire was not a major game yet. It could be argued that there was still room for improvement, yet some began to believe it may become a better game. Cosmetics were becoming a must if you were to tell each other apart. Both different characters and skills gradually became a thing. Our current beloved Luck Royales had also made an appearance, but with different UI’s. Loadouts were consisted of only weapons and purchased or bought skins. These again weren’t that big of a deal to have.

Free Fire in 2018

The first and rarest seen season of Elite Pass “Kitsune” was also released in early June, but it wasn’t as appreciated as the graphics of the game weren’t that appealing. The passes then kept on improving, bringing in more and more revenue for the game. The game had a few backers in especially the Asian regions and supplied them with what they needed in an effort to making the game more known. It became clear that even after all this, something had to be done to make the game more known, and it was the following year that brought about change.

2019: Necessary advancements

The year 2019 was the start of the glory days of the Free Fire. Finally, it was being recognized as a game in its own league. Many changes came to be, with the game getting more popular by the months. It has also got more attention because of advertising and promotion through influencers across the regions. The first collaboration came to be in November with famous DJ Alok, with him composing the popular song “Vale Vale”. He arrived as a character which was back then, the best skill in the game, leaving a major impact on the community. Secondly, the game celebrated its 2nd anniversary with so many rewards, players enjoyed it to its fullest.

dj alok, free fire
DJ Alok in Free Fire

There were also changes happening in the map, with Bermuda getting a change in landscape, known as Bermuda 2.0. The second map Purgatory got added and was then removed shortly afterward. Fixes were made, new modes like the Ranked game had arrived, more UI’s were changed. Additionally, new weapons got added, pets got introduced and players came and went. It was slowly building up to the major attraction which it got the very next year.

2020: The turnaround

2020 was the year of an unexpected turn of events which basically led to the growth of many games in the mobile industry. Thus, it goes without saying that Free Fire went from big to really big in a short while. Downloads were skyrocketing and the developers made unnumbered profits, which led to great scale expansion of the game. The game from 2020 looked like the one we have today. With many new features, improved graphics, and new characters, Free Fire had a variety of returning and new modes added.

Free Fire journey 4NNIVERSARY Update
The year 2020 brought out a Free Fire which looks similar to what we have today

2019 was only the start of brand collaborations, whereas in 2020 the devs took it one step further by collaborating with over 6 very popular artists and shows over the course of the year. Honorable mentions were the collaborations between DJ Kashmir, Netflix show Money Heist, and Cristiano Ronaldo. This has led to the peak of player interest in playing the game. The first elite character Kelly was introduced in the game.

Purgatory was readded as a standard mode for ranked games. Then, the map of Kalahari happened and was shortly revoked. Another map in the form of Bermuda Remastered was added followed by Clash Squad which got a ranked mode. Esports were held and so on. Let us not forget the previous 3rd-anniversary patch “3VOLUTION” where even more rewards were distributed. The red legendary rarity was first introduced in the form of an EVO gun. It would be no stretch if it is said that 2020 was definitely the year of growth for Free Fire. It became the most played and downloaded battle royale game on App Stores.

2021: Journey of Free Fire to the 4NNIVERSARY Update

Finally now in 2021, Free Fire is still trying its hardest to spread its name across some regions. It has been drastically improving itself by learning from past mistakes and outperforming its competitors. In just half a year, there have already been over 8 collaborations so far. It has grossed over millions of dollars in revenue. It is remarkable that such a small game has significantly changed for the good in such a short time. This is something that should definitely be celebrated upon.

Free Fire journey 4NNIVERSARY Update
Free Fire 4NNIVERSARY update with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike

With the patch notes being fully launched, players will get to experience Free Fire at its greatest with this anniversary. It will surely be spoken of for a while as its content stretches all the way to October. Whether veteran or a newbie, Free Fire will always embrace its players with open arms. It is right now inviting everyone to join in celebrating their 4th anniversary together.

What are your thoughts on the journey of Free Fire, building up to the 4NNIVERSARY Update? Let us know in the comments below.

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