One of the things that’s extremely common with online games is the pre-conceived notions around it. Whether it is games like Mario, Nintendo or rummy games, they are often looked upon as waste of time or something that is not ‘right’. However, India has come a long way from it. As per a recent CII report, the Indian gaming industry was valued at 543.08 million dollars in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.61%.
The road so far
India had over 198 million mobile gamers in 2015 and this number is expected to grow to 628 million gamers by 2020. If we talk about PC and console gamers, there are approximately 2 million eSports gamers and over 1000 professional gamers in India. What it clearly indicates is that gaming is out of the closet and is all set to evolve to the next big step.
What made the things happen?
It is not one factor that has led to this adaptation of digital games in India. With increased broadband penetration, affordable smartphone and social media, online games are now there on every mobile. People love to play online games on the go and with most of games now available on the apps, this has become a cake walk.
Gaming has evolved in the country as a sport for the enthusiasts to earn money. So, when you are going to play rummy online real money or other reward system, it becomes a lucrative option. However, it has at the same time led to the expansion of professional gamers. There are close to 1000 professional gamers in India and this number is only growing, thanks to increasing internet penetration.
According to IAMAI and IMRB, the number of internet users in the country is expected to reach 500 million by June 2018. Now if we pair this with the growth of disposable incomes, it allows gaming enthusiasts to access and experience a large number of games with ease.
The New Age of Gamers
Just like any other sport, digital gamers are dedicated, disciplined and focused. There are websites that offer organized tournaments and the players work in a focused manner to improve their gameplay. eSports companies like CobX, ESL India and UCypher have professional gaming tournaments in different cities across India with the focus to expand the reach of professional gaming.
The gaming tournaments come with grand prizes and rewards and has been growing rapidly over the last 5 years. Even players who are simply playing for entertainment, focus a lot on the real money tournaments where they see an opportunity to use their skill to win extra cash rewards.
The professional gaming sphere
Gaming has evolved as one of the most popular sports today. With live games, big tournaments and a growing audience, there are more and more players who now turn towards professional gaming. A common trend that can be seen with the game streamers is to monetize content on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
As per NVIDIA, there is a potential for around 15,000 gaming cafes in India in the next 3 years. This also gives opportunity for new gaming companies to come up offering custom games, and of course the rise of social media influencers and bloggers.
Further, eSports can provide visibility to companies to advertise with over 2 million eSports viewers in India and this number is expected to grow by 5 times by 2021.
What drivers the gamers?
So, what turns these players towards their PCs and smartphones and make them pick a game? Almost, 58% reach out to games to relax or spend time with friends. A slightly smaller section reaches out to games as a stress buster. After all, who doesn’t like a bit of entertainment and challenge all combined into one.
The casual gamer out there is not looking for competitiveness. Around 28% of gamers state that they don’t really care about their skill level and play just for enjoyment. However, there were also 37% gamers who state that they are quite good with it and around 17% say they can compete with professionals.
Gaming doesn’t make one antisocial
Gamers are not hermits, pushed to one corner. When these players are not gaming, 68% of them enjoy music while 57% say they love to hang out with friends. Traveling (56%), sports (58%) and literary sports are also popular among them.
Gaming comes with its own set of benefits. More than half of all Indian gamers say that games improves their strategic thinking. Gamers who play between 10 to 140 hours a week, claim to have improved reaction time along with problem solving ability as well.
With a blend of professional and casual gamers shaping the Indian gaming industry, the country is all set to become one of the biggest gaming hub in the world.