Online Gaming: Riding The Crest Of A Wave Worth $1.1 Bn

Online Gaming: Riding The Crest Of A Wave Worth $1.1 Bn

Increasing mobile penetration and high usage has led to a surge in mobile gaming in India. The average mobile device user spends 3-4 hours every day watching OTT, playing games and music or on online shopping. Mobile gaming, however, is the fastest growing source of entertainment for Indian users.

According to a KPMG-Google report, the Indian online gaming industry will add 190 Mn gamers and is poised to become a $1 Bn opportunity by 2021 from the current $290 Mn. This upsurge will create immense opportunities in the gaming ecosystem, employment generation, entertainment, engagement and market growth.

Talking about the global scenario, interestingly, China is losing its global lead in gaming. By the end of 2019, the United States will replace China as the world’s largest gaming market, with an estimated revenue of $36.9 Bn, says a new report from research firm Newzoo.

The report also highlights that mobile games will continue to outpace PC gaming and consoles in the coming years. As expected, emerging markets that are mobile-first and mobile-only will drive most of the boom in mobile gaming, which is on course to account for almost half (49%) of the entire sector by 2022.

The Regional Hook

Today, all the apps focusing on the Indian market are building capabilities to reach the masses through personalized content in regional languages. Gaming in regional languages is still a fresh idea, but it has become a vital strategy to reach out to consumers. Incorporating regional languages into their apps and platforms is helping developers drive adoption and expand their customer base.

Gaming players are bringing social play and ‘Skill Game’ experience across more broad-based genres such as casual and multiplayer gaming experience in the hands of first-time smartphone users in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets in regional languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali and Gujarati.

Online gaming has become one of the most important segments of entertainment in the country today, and according to a report by Nasscom, India’s mobile games market is expected to reach 628 million users and be worth $1.1 Bn by 2020, up from $290 Mn in 2016.

From Entertainment To Esports

India is the fastest growing entertainment and media market globally and is expected to maintain that momentum, according to a recent PwC report on Entertainment and Media Outlook. It also states that in the next five years India will see significant growth in over-the-top (OTT), online gaming and Internet advertising.

Online gaming has evolved over the years, donning a new hat in form of Esports, not only becoming more realistic and engrossing but also making a possible foray in the 2024 Paris Olympics as a demonstration sport. The Esports market is a huge draw and is burgeoning; according to the Newzoo Global Esports Market Report 2019, revenues from Esports are expected to surpass US$1 billion for the first time this year, with the global audience exceeding 450 Mn.

With improving infrastructure India is poised to move into the top 10 global gaming markets by consumer revenue by 2023.

Opportunities Ahead

India is one of the fastest growing gaming markets globally, and gaming enthusiasts are no longer limited to Tier I cities. Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets have contributed significantly, triggered by the wave of affordability and better connectivity.

Over the past few years, the boom in affordable and faster internet, along with increasingly affordable smartphones has tantamounted to better reach and engagement. Apart from this, performance and technology innovation are also two of the biggest factors driving gaming today.

Similarly, gaming content is changing and growing with personalized and local content. Gaming is helping people build relationships and make friends online, empowering them in a way that has not been possible before.

Today, a career in gaming has become a mainstream career option for youth and they are not shying away from it. In the last decade or so, there has been growing demand for professionals in this field, from data scientists and programmers to designers, audio engineers, gaming app developers and, lately, consumer behaviour experts.

There are many more exciting jobs emerging, which are not just about being in front of the screen but about developing the whole gaming ecosystem behind gaming screens and in the cloud.

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