BGMI’s GodNixon on Krafton, Battlegrounds Mobile India Community, Android vs. iOS, His New Company, and More
Luv Sharma aka GodNixon is one of India’s most popular Battlegrounds Mobile India (previously known as PUBG Mobile) content creators with over 160 million views and 1.62 million subscribers. Although he’s a well known and influential figure in the Battlegrounds Mobile India community, he’s set his sights beyond that, revealing to IGN India his new company.
Unlike others that have diversified into esports or talent management, Sharma has taken a different approach. It won’t be focused on the games business directly he says. Called Tricksters, it’s a firm that concentrates on video production only. However he will be working with gaming companies and counts on Krafton as one of his clients.
“We did a few videos for Krafton like the iOS launch video and Teacher’s Day videos,”he says. “I’m trying to make my company totally on production, I don’t want to include gaming in that. I will make gaming production videos but it won’t be a gaming company with a line-up for esports.”
As for the name itself, it comes from what Sharma is known for in the Battlegrounds Mobile India community.
“I’m famous for my tricks,” he says. “We wanted to call it Trickstars but I like names that sound sharp so Tricksters made sense, just like Nixon.”
The move comes at a time when Krafton has brought PUBG Mobile back as Battlegrounds Mobile India. However Sharma prefers to remain cautious, reminiscing of how tough times were when PUBG was banned as that was the predominant game he played on his YouTube channel.
“When the game got banned we were stuck on what we should put,” he says. “We were only putting PUBG after all…I put GTA, Among Us and people were showing support. I was getting 400K-500K views on those videos. I had a very supportive community. But that time was hard for me and other creators.”
He tells me that others diversified with vlogs and non-gaming related content to prevent any dependency on just one game.
“Everyone shifted because they knew if this happened again, no one wanted a problem,” he says.
GodNixon Before PUBG
That said, Sharma tells me Tricksters is something he wanted to do even before he garnered popularity for his gaming videos. In fact it stems back to his days as a graphics designer while in school.
“I used to play Clash Royale, in fact I still do and when I started playing, the community needed good GFX artists,” he says. “There were no good GFX artist in that game so I got onto Twitter and reached out to pro players there directly. I started working for them, I started earning. First I was a graphics designer before gaming and YouTube.”
While he was making logos and graphics for Clash Royale pros his parents wanted him to focus on his studies as they felt his earnings potential would be limited. At the time however, PUBG Mobile hit and on the advice of a friend, he gave Krafton’s battle royale hit a go.
“I was in 12th grade at the time and I was playing PUBG all day,” he says. “I ended up ranking 25 or 30 in Asia for season 3. My Mom took my iPad locked it in the cabinet. Told me to stop playing games and focus on studies because 12th exams were on the way. I failed in 12th. Mom and dad were very disappointed but they still supported me making videos.”
Why GodNixon Doesn’t Play BGMI Competitively
Nevertheless, his competitive climb came to a halt when PUBG Mobile’s rules were changed to ban iPads in competitive play. Sharma qualified for LANs too but stopped since iPads weren’t allowed.
It’s an interesting situation when you consider that Apple has about 2 percent of the Indian market though that appears to be changing. And until there’s significant developments on that, India is by and large Android country.
Despite this, for Sharma, the preference of playing Battlegrounds Mobile India on iOS over Android is “110 percent, any day”. So much so that he used to play Battlegrounds Mobile India on a 2017 iPad Pro, but moved over to the new M1 version this week.
“It’s very easy,” he says. “You can run BGMI smoothly on Android as well and there is no problem. But you can play and record on iOS in a better way compared to Android. Less to no lag while recording.”
Krafton Is Paying Attention to BGMI Glitches
The conversation shifts to Krafton itself. After its recent IPO and spending spree in India, it has also teamed up with Indian producer Adi Shankar for an animated show based on PUBG.
Nonetheless, the company hasn’t lost its touch with the community or creators like Sharma, giving them early access to patches, weapons, and maps to test and provide feedback, which he says Krafton acts on.
“They actually care, when I used to put tips and tricks videos a year ago, I’d put glitches as well,” he says. “Whenever I put a glitch, say today, it would be fixed tomorrow. They’re paying attention.”
And speaking of Battlegrounds Mobile India (or any game with an element of randomness in its monetisation), one of the usual features on Sharma’s channel are crate opening videos.
In these he’d spend in-game currency opening up loot boxes to see what gear he’d get. We had to ask if he actually spent his own money or does the publisher fund such endeavours.
“Whenever a new skin comes out, every content creator and streamer opens that crate and spending 1000s of dollars to get one skin,” he says. “I spent 80,000 UC on the skin I’m using on my character. A lot of people do that. And yes, I use my own money.”
80,000 UC or Unknown Cash as it’s known in Battlegrounds Mobile India is roughly about Rs. 75,000. For comparison’s sake, that works out to a cost of a decent gaming laptop or a PS5 and about five to six games. To Sharma, it a necessary expense.
“It makes sense whenever we do that, people come and watch we get retention and engagement,” he says. “Totally worth it.”
As for the game itself, Sharma plays Battlegrounds Mobile India about 15 to 18 hours a day for his channel. Since he doesn’t bother with ranking up or playing competitively he’s usually doing it “for fun or content”.
Nonetheless, we had to ask if such extreme playtimes has led to burnout of any kind as we’re seeing in other countries that have had its leading young creators burn out due to what essentially is a self-imposed crunch culture?
Sharma thinks otherwise. He remembers a time he didn’t put a video up for a month. Naturally he was bombarded with demands on social media from fans eager to see a new video up as soon as possible.
“That’s understandable they expect that jaldi jaldi aate videos (they want videos fast),” he says. “But there’s no anxiety, no stress. I know my supporters, when I put up a story on Instagram saying a new video was on the way they were willing to wait.”
The video in question, ‘Battleground Mobile India The New Hope’ took time to hit because of how it was made. It’s essentially an animated fan trailer.
“15 days to render in Blender, 15 days to make,” he says.
The BGMI India Community
Although the Battlegrounds Mobile India community was largely appreciative of his efforts, we had to ask how it influences his work.
“They love my tips and tricks videos and keep asking for them. If I stop putting tips and tricks for one month, they keep DMing me on every social media, commenting on my old videos to bring them back,” he says.
However he does feel that there’s a toxic section of it too.
“There’s another part of it that is totally dependent on the competitive aspect of the game,” he says. “Whenever there is a tournament going on, they will supporting a team that’s winning ‘OP OP’ they’ll say, when the team starts losing they start spamming hate in the chat. Despite this dark side, the community on the whole is very good.”