Gaming has the potential to emerge as a significant sector creating jobs for thousands of millennials who can join the creative workplace.
Key trends that define the Indian gaming sector
The Indian gaming market is forecasted to grow more than threefold in terms of revenue to reach the billion-dollar landmark or even surpass it by 2021. Over the years, gaming in India has seen a phenomenal shift in the way consumers have adapted and grown with it, backed by the increase in smartphone penetration, internet connectivity, advanced digital payment infrastructures and rising disposable incomes. An increased focus on local development, large volumes and rising monetisation mean gaming has the potential to emerge as a significant sector creating jobs for thousands of millennials who can join the creative workplace.
In a country like India that has a massive 1.3 billion population, multiple forces had to converge to make gaming a massive industry — affordable Internet connectivity, smartphone penetration, the power of data, better economics for gaming companies and the emergence of e-Sports that augments gaming for professional gamers.
Once a person has access to a smartphone with the Internet, the doorway to a million free games is open. That’s the freedom of entertainment that is available to consumers today.
Smartphones have not only led to an increase in the number of casual gamers but hard-core gamers on PC and Console as well. A good number of players begin gaming on their smartphones and then shift to platforms like PC and Console to test their skills and explore rich content. It’s like tasting just one packet of chips. No one can have just one.
India is also moving towards improved age and gender parity among gamers. While male gamers continue to be the larger group, the number of female gamers has increased at a scorching pace in the last few years. There are games for every age group from the age of 6-55 in various genres like puzzle, strategy, sports, racing, action and arcade. Gaming has essentially been evolving as long as humans have and will continue to do so. With newer technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual reality coming to the fore, the future of gaming looks exciting and prosperous.
The exponential growth in the industry is also fueled with India having gradually moved from just servicing games to becoming a core production house with local development and localised content. Technology today can customise a gaming experience differently for two different people based on their skill set, progression and choices made in the game. India is now steadily using advanced machine learning, predictive analytics and new age technologies driving gaming consumption that is often characterised by highly skilled manpower and expertise. India is not far behind when it comes to delivering world-class games across platforms and monetising through them like some of the largest global gaming companies.
In the past, global players faced reluctance from consumers to pay for games which led to heavy reliance on advertisement-based monetization. But, with the growth of freemium based models (where advanced features are charged but the basic service is free) assisted by the rise in the disposable income and better digital payment infrastructures, India has started to become a viable business option for Indian and global companies alike.
One of the defining factors that have made the gaming industry a revenue-generating industry is the increase in online gamers, the life of the industry. Online gamers are expected to increase by 2.5 times to 300 million gamers by 2021 and are expected to get larger with e-Sport competitions and professional players now getting to compete in Asian Games and getting sponsorships from top brands. In the next few years, professional gaming is expected to become a viable career opportunity for those with the skills.
Today consumers are not just playing games but also watching games online and uploading videos about them on social channels and discussing them in game communities. It has brought in a new social network for ardent gamers. Earlier this year, at the India Gaming Show held at Bengaluru, we witnessed competitive mobile gaming on a large scale for the first time with more than 10,000 gamers competing at the event for prizes.
Gone are the days when playing games was a taboo and a time pass. Today, it is a part of our lives and a profession for many who chase their dreams. Let the games begin!
—By Rajan Navani, Managing Director and CEO, JetSynthesys