With the population of 1.3billions, India automatically becomes the biggest market for any industry if even a small percentage of the population express their interest in any sort of product or service. The attractions towards gaming started booming in India from the year 2000 more or less. The nation’s gaming interest very quickly moved towards the PC games and console games, within that decade. Where most of the players started playing games as their main medium for entertainment, but at that time there were very little scope and even lesser interests have been among Indian people about taking the gaming to the next level, which is being professional.
Even at the time of 2010, considering a career as a professional gamer is quite difficult for even the most talented players from India, and the reason is the Indian Gaming ecosystem itself. Along with the advancement of time and the widespread internet throughout the whole country, many people came to know about the emerging Gaming sector and its aspects, especially after the launch of Reliance Jio 4G network in India, internet became a more popular medium in India and also the number of internet users increased in India drastically within a very short span of time. And of course, with the internet reaching every corner and each root of the country, now you can see the effect of that through the gaming sector and content creation sector in India.
Even at the time of 2012-13-14 there were very few numbers of Indian YouTube channels and now you can see there are hundreds of thousands Indian YouTube channels are booming they’re in the market coming up with all kind of contents for education and entertainment. Just like that the widespread of the Internet in the last decade changed the whole scene of the gaming industry in India.
“Future of the Gaming Industry in India 2020”
Why India was so backward in case of Gaming Industry?
Any kind of industry, service or product boom on their demand, if there is no demand or very less amount of, no one will be investing in that business as it would be a pothole for the investors.
- Unlike the USA, UK, Russia, South Korea, Canada & China, India did not have sufficient regular internet users base at the decade of 2000-2010. Which restricted the reach of gaming industry up to a certain level of the huge Indian population.
- Due to a smaller number of players, multinational gaming event organizer companies were not investing in the Indian gaming sector. Though there were some players who managed to gather all the resources and personal sponsorships used to participate in international and regional events, in some game, in the country of 1.3 billion, a couple of participants doesn’t count as much.
- Even the best players from India at the time of 2000-2010 decade found it hard to ensure their livelihood via just playing video games, as the competitions and events only do not provide the players with a regular basis earning, to sustain.
- Also, there was another big reason, which was the tendency of doing piracy and playing pirated games which were at a peak at the time of 2000-2015. Where a very small amount of people used to have the internet access and they used to download and distribute the pirated copies of the major games which restricted the business potential of those game in the general market of India.
- The average financial situation of the Indian people was also partly to be blamed which restricted the wannabe gamers from buying the high-quality gaming gears and the original copies of game titles.
But with time, with the reach of the internet to everyone’s pocket and with the awareness of anti-piracy among most of the gamers, The Indian gaming sector faced a big change in over the last 5 years.
Types of Gaming
Before proceeding further, we should discuss the types of gaming, so that we can discuss which type of gaming is more favourite in India and has a bright future in upcoming days. So, there are actually three types of Video Gaming,
- PC Gaming
- Console Gaming
- Mobile Gaming
The most common and most favourite way of gaming around the world. As in PC is easier to develop and optimize games for it, and also PC can run different games from different platforms using third-party applications as well. Because of the hardware configuration and powerful Processor architecture, PC is always best at graphics without any doubt. PC is more customizable and upgradeable. Because of the power and support PC provides, most of the major Game developers do develop big titles for PC mainly. Most of the games available in the market, whether it is an RPG game, or a Racing Game or a sports game or a competitive multiplayer game, are made and available for PC.
The PC game developments are used to be quite costly, so most of the PC games do come for a good price, though there are many games you can try which are free to play, and the developers make money by microtransaction within the game and with various kind of promotions and adds. Good quality Gaming PC are tending to cost quite high, if you are looking for gaming Laptop then the cost will go up even more. Actually, in the world of gaming, Gaming PCs are the costliest platforms, while most of the Indians do use quite a basic level PC or Laptop for their daily computation jobs.
Console gaming is a totally different era, where the game is to be played on a pre-engineered machine, which is meant for gaming purpose only. There are some certain types of gaming consoles are available in the market, among which the most popular are Microsoft XBOX and Sony PlayStation. Apart from those, there are other consoles like Nintendo Switch, Arcade Gaming Machine etc.
The Consoles are made with company fitted hardware components, where you cannot change or upgrade anything, so you have will get at pre-defined performance in all the games. The games developed for the consoles also come with limitations, where for best lag-free experience, the games are more optimized, and average performance-oriented. The graphics display is also not at its best but at a decent level.
The console gaming projects are normally the costliest and only big game development companies can come up with that kind of huge budget. So, the price for the Console games tends to the highest among all other platforms always. Gaming Consoles are also quite costly, not the costliest but, definitely not cheap and most people from India are not able to buy such machines for entertainment purposes.
By the end of the 1990s, the Arcade Gaming Machines and TV-based Video game consoles started to face the downfall, but with the increasing use of mobile phones and the advancement of the cellphone, technology took the market to another shift. After the smartphones came into existence, having an internet connection become mandatory to use all the potential of your smartphone, along with the shift the gaming technology also stated taking a pace with the help of the mobile technologies. By the starting of 2008 many games started launching for the smartphones, and when at 2017 the PUBG Mobile launched the industry faced something which it never ever experienced before.
Though Angry Birds, Subway Surfer, Temple Run, Clash of Clans, Hearthstone already created a revolution in the people need for mobile gaming. Apart from those, there were many other games to amuse people and entertain people just out of their pocket. The main advantage the mobile gaming always had is being mobile, as you can not carry your PC, XBOX, PlayStation along with you (except Nintendo Switch, which is quite expensive and once it was Sony PSP, and that was also quite expensive), but you can carry your mobile everywhere. Mobile is a device for multitasking, hence playing games on mobile become a new phenomenon from the very beginning of the smartphone era.
The mobile game development is quite cheaper than the other platforms, also most of the Mobile games do come for free. Most of the mobile games do make money by following microtransaction models and by doing occasional promotions. Also, as the device Mobile is way cheaper than the Gaming PC or Gaming Consoles.
How Gaming is creating Career Opportunities in India
Now as you can see yourself that most of the people out there even the people from the very low-income group do possess a smartphone in their pocket along with internet connection, so there are a huge market and demand for new games and new means of entertainment is blooming out there. Now while we are talking about the Indian gaming industry, we must consider the basic details about the Indian gaming ecosystem, wherewith careful analysis you can find that;
- Indian gaming ecosystem consists of a huge number of players, but most of them with very limited resources,
- So, most of the Indian gamer or players do not tend buy games, they do not tend to spend on moderately costly Consoles and their very costly game, neither most of them can buy super costly Gaming PC and the games.
- Indian gaming ecosystem is filled with hunger but with economical limits, which is quite a real issue.
- So, it can be simply derived that the future of Indian Gaming industry and ecosystem is very much dependent on the Mobile Gaming platform.
Now, after that analysis, there are many IT companies and many other foreign game development companies started investing in Mobile Game development which opened up a huge employment opportunity for suitable candidates. To make video games, there are various types of expertise needed including, Programming, Software Designing, Graphics designing, Sound engineer, Video editor, Game tester, Marketing manager, PR and many more. So, of course, it has opened a new job sector by itself, which is apart of IT technology but not a core IT tech company as well. Especially after the huge success of PUBG Mobile in India, everyone has seen how big the Indian gaming Fish can be, so many foreign investors are also coming to India to target the gaming industry.
Indie Game Development (Entrepreneurship)
Even with the dawn of open-source software and technology development many freelance game developer or so-called as “Indie Game developers” are also coming into the scene, where a person with adequate knowledge, skill and enthusiasm can start up a game development studio by his/her own, so it has also opened up a big opportunity for the Startup culture and Entrepreneurship. You can search for a game called “Getting Over with Bennett Foddy” or another game called “Limbo” which were the big hits as Indie game, and have been developing by a single person, with a very-very-very small budget and with very little hardware resources.
Professional e-sports Gamer (Entrepreneurship)
Apart from the Programmers, Designers and Indie developers, there is only one more job related to gaming which is crucial and that is a player itself. Now while already India has shown their teeth to the gaming world at the international level, maybe mainly in mobile gaming, but most of the gaming event organizers have finally recognized the Indian gaming sector and started coming to India and investing in Indian gaming sector already. PMCO, PMSC, Gamer Connect expo are the live prove about which you can read on Google.
At those competitions and Gamer, Connect expo has brought many players from the grass-root level of India. Gaming Monk and some other similar companies are organizing continuous gaming events and competitions on various games like DOTA, PUBG, PUBG Mobile, FIFA, FortNite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike etc. These are attracting brands like OPPO Mobile, Nvidia, MSI into the Indian gaming industry, and while they are getting involved the prize money, the brand value, the recognitions all are getting increased in a phenomenal manner. This trend was unexpected even just 5 years before 2020, but now it is proving to be just the tip of the iceberg.
What is Professional e-sports Gaming
It is the level where simply by gaming you can earn. It is not about any stupid bet and earns type method, but here you have to prove yourself to be worthy enough to represent at the big events, where you can play for some professional team or some big company or sometimes even with the national level teams with the nations tag on the chest as well.
You can create your own professional gaming team and try to make a name for yourself, as the famous PUBG Mobile team SOUL did, where you can see players like Mortal, Scout and many more playing for the SOUL banner, and sometimes they even represent team India at the international level as well. There is another team called IND Nova is out there. FAZE Clan is an international team, where you can see professional players like Myth, Daquan etc. who earns more than a 1 Crore INR per year.
Professional Gamer as Live Streamer (Digital Marketing)
Digital Marketing is one of the hottest and trending job/business right now, but the question is what are you gonna marketing with digitally. The question is what is going to be your content? YES, Video Games are one of the hottest contents for Digital marketing, not only writing Gaming Blogs or creating walkthrough or Highlight videos for games but also Live Streaming your gameplay and entertaining audiences can also be a very big and viable career opportunity if you have that calibre and passion.
By live streaming your gameplay, you can earn from the donations of your viewers and also with a certain amount of popularity you can become a social influencer where you can promote products and services from your channel. You can Live stream on YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, DLive and on many other platforms.
With a certain amount of popularity and income the platform with whom you are working may offer you exclusive contract as well, likewise, the world-famous FortNite and HALO player NinjaHyper used to earn from the twitch.tv. It is said that NinjaHyper used to earn 3.5 Crore INR per year at the time of 2018-2019. Now he is under contract with Microsoft Mixer. If you are a PUBG lover you must have heard the name of Shroud, who also works with the same type of contract with Twitch.tv.
- You can also earn from YouTube AdSense, YouTube monetization, brand collaborations, brand promotion etc., to understand the average income as a Professional Gamer cum Live streamer Digital marketing, you can follow the channels of dynamo Gaming, Soul Mortal, Rawknee Games, CarryisLive and many more.
- In digital marketing, you must have a good content, which you would be able to sell to the target audience of yours, you must be good at it and you must be consistent at it, so why not gaming, because people love watching gameplay live streams as much they love playing the game by their own.
Effects of the current scenario overall Indian gaming Ecosystem
It Started with Counter-Strike, but it boomed with PUBG for sure. Maybe today’s scenario has become possible mainly for the success of PUBG Mobile, but the effect has been noticed on other platforms as well. Mainly the PC gaming has also boomed with Mobile gaming as well. Nvidia, MSI, Gamer Connect, Gaming monk all are organizing regular regional events on competitive PC games as well, like PUBG PC, FortNite, FIFA, Counter-Strike GO etc. Nowadays every year many Indian participants are participating for international FIFA Virtual world cup selection round, PUBG Continental selection round, DOTA Championships etc. which were fairly uncommon even a few years before.
So, for sure video gaming industry is rising not only as a development sectors, where people can do jobs but also as a business sector where people can start their own game development startups and digital marketing sector where people can do marketing on their favourite game-related contents and also a talented, passionate gamer can try to become a professional e-sports player just like any other Cricket, Footballer etc.
If you love gaming, decide whether it is your favourite pass time, or you are really passionate about it. As if you are thinking that playing games is fun, and that is why you want to choose gaming as your career, then you are wrong. You have to work and practice like hell to be successful, and playing the same game for 8-10 hours every day is as tough as a very demanding full-time job.
If you want to become an Indie developer, you must possess the skill set, for which you need proper education and proper training, over programming, designing and on many other technical aspects. Even for digital marketing and live streaming, you need to possess quite of technical knowledge, you need to have a proper education, to implement your ideas into reality. So, gaming is a variable career choice of course, but not an easy one for sure. Becoming a professional gamer or a game developer or game designer is as hard as becoming a master at any other professional field.