Rushing through the green field, Sam must reach the loot area quickly to pick up the ammunition. There are others too. He reaches swiftly, picks up some grenades, health supplies, a helmet. He got lucky this time; he got an assault rifle too. Now the next stage- he must rush towards the white zone to be in the game. He crosses the blue zone in time. He is looking for people around. Suddenly, ‘bang, bang, bang,’ someone has spotted him. He runs towards a shelter. Through the scope, he wants to find out his enemy’s location. He spots the other person. Wait, there are others too. Sam is playing solo. No need to engage. He gets on his ride and flees the place towards the other destination.
Sam is not alone. Millions like him are now playing these kinds of games that require higher sustained and selective attention. India, with the world’s largest youth population, is poised to become the world’s leading gaming destination. Estimated at USD 930 million with a compound annual growth rate of 22 per cent, it is the world’s second-largest online market with more than 560 million internet users.
India’s prowess in the field of IT coupled with other multifaceted dynamics have resulted in the rise of the Indian gaming industry. This could be gauged from the fact that India now has 275 online development companies, up from just 25 in 2010.
The rise in smartphone/tablet usage, disposable income, and the introduction of new gaming genres have provided a boost to India’s gaming sector. Such is the prominence of smartphones that mobile gaming (71 per cent) dominates the sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to rise in online/mobile gaming activities. The lockdown period saw an increase of 21 per cent in time spent on gaming apps with the consumer base crossing 300 million.
According to a report, the Indian gaming industry is estimated to grow at 41 per cent each year. Puzzle, action, and adventure genres are leading the gaming chart in India. With the emergence of various sports leagues, the industry is also witnessing a sharp rise in online fantasy sports platforms. NITI Aayog has submitted a draft guiding principle for the uniform national-level regulation of online fantasy sports platforms in India. It sees India becoming the hub of online fantasy sports and predicts its potential to attract FDI of more than INR 10,000 crore over the next few years as well as generate 1.5 billion online transactions by 2023.
5G because of its speed, lower latency, and ability to provide seamless Virtual Reality (VR) experience will further boost the sector. VR is already catching up and revolutionizing the way we play games. Coupled with 5G, VR will be cordless and provide hassle-free, truly immersive high-resolution gaming graphics. Augmented Reality (AR) games will also gain more traction with 5G.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) shall play an important role in shaping the gaming industry. It is currently being used in fantasy sports, where bots are available to chat. Its usage in the VR gaming platforms and others shall make games more interactive and fun.
Moving to the content bit, gamers have a special affinity towards the adventure genres. It is evident from gaming history, that adventure games either related to history, or any fantasy (movies, mythology, current affairs, etc.) have been accepted with open arms by the gamer community.
For example, characters from Grand Theft Auto (GTA) are heavily inspired by the Martin Scorsese classic movie, ‘Goodfellas.’ Similarly, different versions of ‘Call of Duty’ draw their inspiration from World War II, the Cold War, etc.
India-based games in this category are few and are yet to take the gaming world by storm as games like GTA, Call of Duty, etc. have done. Considering India’s rich heritage, Indian game developers can never be short of ideas or stories.
To help the Indian gaming industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) through the India Gaming Show (annual event) and the Indian Digital Gaming Society (IDGS) – an industry body under the CII aegis – is working towards building the Indian gaming ecosystem. It provides a global platform to the Indian business community and creates a business platform for international partners to explore the vast Indian market and partnership opportunities.
The Government is also pushing to further develop the gaming industry. It has allowed 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in the Electronic System and IT & BPM sectors.
The video game market value worldwide is approximately USD 160 billion (in 2020) and is set to grow over US$ 200 billion by 2023. Considering India’s young demography, IT prowess, and the possibility of providing and developing exciting content, it is going to be the game-changer of the gaming world.