Netflix’s Sacred Games stars Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte. And if that star-studded cast weren’t enough, it has production values that compare to other international shows made by Netflix, like Narcos. But beyond production value and star power, is Sacred Games really India’s Narcos?Netflix is notoriously stubborn about sharing viewership data of any of its shows and films. Even creators are reportedly not told how their shows are doing. Even finding out which country’s reviewers saw a show can be unreliable. For instance, in the US, the New York Times, Variety and other publications got a screener of Sacred Games and reviewed the show. And yet, not a lot of buzz seems to be coming in for the show from the US online. But one solid way to figure out who is watching a show is who is talking about it. Twitter is probably the best place to look, since it’s popular in most countries — even non-English speaking ones — and most tweets are public.One thing that becomes apparent when you search for tweets about Sacred Games from outside India, it’s still mostly desi people talking about it. Just look at this search result page for tweets about the show from the US, which is probably the largest market for the show outside India. Even with mostly positive critical reception from American publications, the show doesn't seem to have attained water-cooler discussion topic in the US. I am of course comparing it to the buzz created by foreign shows like Narcos, Dark or La Casa De Papel in India.Early days still, but the best way to look for tweets about the show is by looking up its non-English titles — the show is marketed under different names depending on what the language of the viewer is. For instance, in Brazil and Latin American market, it’s called “Juegos Sagrados”. Searching for this yields some promising results.“Vean "Juegos Sagrados" Una policial en la India muy buena. Netflix.”Translation: “Check out Sacred Games, a good police procedural from India. Netflix.”“Veo los primeros capítulos de "Juegos sagrados" en Netflix pensando en qué tendría que decir el añorado Alberto Elena de esta emergencia global de la ficción serial de la India.”Translation: “I saw the first few episodes of Sacred Games on Netflix and am wondering what film professor Alberto Elena would have to say about this global emergence of Indian TV.““A los que tengan cuenta en Netflix les recomiendo ver Juegos Sagrados, una miniserie thriller india. No es muy adictiva, por momentos es medio densa, pero está muy buena, muy interesante.”Translation: “To those who have Netflix, I recommend Sacred Games, an Indian thriller series. It is not very addictive, at times it is can get a bit dense, but it is very good, very interesting.”Netflix has dubbed the show into Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese as Juegos Sagrados, Turkish as Kutsal Oyunlar, French as Le Seigneur de Bombay (The Lord of Bombay) and of course English. Turkey is a huge market for Netflix, and its films have a lot in common with Bollywood releases, so here’s how the Turkish market is receiving Sacred Games.“Yuh!!! Ali Saif Khan'lı Nawazuddin Siddiqui'li aksiyon-gerilim olan Kutsal Oyunlar sadece Netflix'te! !!! Ayy ben bayağı merak ettim fragman aksiyonlu geldi. Uzun zaman sonra ilk defa bir hint filmine heyecanlandım. ( Film miydi dizi miydi ona bile bakmadım heyecandan😂)”Translation: "Hoot!!! Ali Saif Khan's Nawazuddin Siddiqui's action-thriller Sacred Games is only on Netflix! !!! The trailer I expected is out. After a very long time, I'm excited about an Indian movie. (I have not even seen if it is a move or a TV series😂)And that’s it. That’s the only tweet (that isn’t a reply) that seems to be talking about Sacred Games from Turkey. Others are news articles that were originally published in English.So let’s look at, say, French speakers?“Le seigneur de Bombay c'est vraiment lourd”Translation: “Sacred Games is really heavy”Okay, that’s curt.“Les gens... allez regardez la serie Le seigneur de bombay sur netflix... les indiens ils blague même plus wow !!!”Translation: “People, go see Sacred Games on Netflix. The Indians, they joke a lot more.”That’s a rough translation, but this tweet is the best chance out there — there’s not a lot of French speakers discussing the show.And that is the point — looking for non-English and non-desi people talking about this show gives us slim pickings. That indicates that there’s not a lot of people watching Sacred Games who don’t have cultural ties to the context of the show.But let’s not go as far as calling the show a failure in non-English speaking markets. Fauda, the Arabic-language Netflix original, took a while to be noticed globally. So did La Casa de Papel. Word of mouth and marketing schedules in local markets play a huge role in how much buzz a show or movie gets, especially if it’s streaming with subtitles in a foreign language.But more than just scheduling, it may be the very nature of show that Sacred Games is that makes it hard for a foreign audience to digest in scale. A gangster drama on the lines of Gangs of Wasseypur is not the easiest thing for a non-Hindi speaking audience to follow along on, let alone spend eight hours on.But this isn’t the end of Netflix’s original strategy in India — just next month, the streaming service is releasing Ghoul, a horror series set in Kashmir starring Radhika Apte. Though the series seems to have a lower budget than Sacred Games, who knows? Perhaps the universal appeal of horror may actually end up as a sleeper hit globally, more than Sacred Games even.But taking Sacred Games as a proxy for the quality of Indian storytelling is flawed — it may simply be more useful to just watch and discuss the shows made in a brand new environment that we have never had than it is to see how the rest of the world sees it. At least for now.(Aroon Deep writes about the digital content ecosystem in India for Medianama) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.