Many of the people still think that gaming is a trend for the youth and kids only. As now a day most of the school students to college students even the office employees do spend their free time on the games like PUBG, FortNite, Call of Duty, DOTA, Counter-Strike etc. But the truth is the gaming industry in India is actually becoming and blooming itself as a full scale “industry” within India now. After the successful marketing of smartphones and the success of Reliance Jio 4G, the internet has become part of everyone common folk’s life, and along with internet the Video Games also fetched millions of followers and new players from the common Indian societies.
So, where there are followers of some certain thing, there comes the increasing demand, and along with the demand to suffice the demand itself comes to the production, and where production meets the demand the industry grows there, just like same as happening in India with gaming. People are loving playing games, people are also loving watching it on video streaming sites, and on their mobile phones. The hardcore players are getting more and more platforms to become a full-time professional player under any sponsor banner. So, gaming in India just got changed for real within the last five years.
“Pros and Cons of Indian Gaming Industry”
Define yourself that how big the Gaming Fish in India is right now
- If you still do not believe my words and my 17 years of gaming experience, then go to any youth or any teenager ask if they know the names of the Shroud, Ninja, Mortal or not, and you will find that out of 10 teenagers and young folk almost 5 of them know about these above-named players.
- Also, you can check the live streams of Indian live streamers like Dynamo Gaming, Kronten Gaming, Cosmic YT, GtxPreet, CarryisLive, Sikhwarrior, RakaZone Gaming, Soul Mortal, HydraFlik etc. and find yourself the number of live viewers. Where you will be shocked knowing the fact that sometimes some of these streamers do have 30k-40k viewers individually. And this craze is increasing every day, the same number of viewers even greater number of viewers follow every day. Now calculate the total number of viewers all along while all the streamers are on the live stream.
- Now you can compare that how many of the cricket matches and football matches do have that number of live viewers, along with the total number of live stream viewers which is around 1 Million in total, and this is the statistics of YouTube India only. Now if you consider the other platforms like Facebook Live, Twitch.tv and Microsoft Mixer then the number becomes even more overwhelming.
- Also, you can search for the other articles on Video game marketing and sales, where you can learn that how the number of game sales, gaming PC sales, gaming Console sales got increased over the last decade.
What brings the discussion
No matter how good a thing, a service, an opportunity or a phenomenon is, there are always some positive sides along with some negative sides would be present there. So even at the brightest dawn of Indian Gaming Industry, there are various kind of problems can be seen along with various new opportunities. Do understand those we will be now talking about the Pros and Cons of the Indian gaming industry, according to the 2020 market. Read the article in full to understand the scenario, and if you want to become a part of this emerging industry, then gathering information is the part from where you should start with. Remember the verdicts I am gonna state are totally my opinion, based on my knowledge and experience.
Let’s start with the Cons of the Indian gaming industry and then Pros, as I myself being a gamer would like to end the article on a happy note.
Cons of Indian Gaming Industry
- Low Per Capita Income is a big socio-economical problem in India, which is still a big roadblock for upcoming gamers. For a huge amount of people in India Gaming is still a luxury and waste of time. In India getting a Gaming PC or Gaming Console is not affordable for all the common folks. While the PC games are quite cheaper and many of them are free but the Gaming PC hardware is very expensive, on the other hand, Gaming Consoles are comparatively cheaper but the games are quite expensive.
- The mindset is also drawing a huge amount of people from the gaming culture and that is limiting the expansion of the industry, as till date, there are millions of people in India who straight away consider gaming as a time killer and a mean to waste your time. Most of the parents (almost 65% of them) parents don’t want their children to be involved in video games. As most of the parents and most of the population are not aware of the potential of the gaming industry, whether their child is an engineering student, or a graphics designer or in marketing management filed or want to become an entrepreneur.
- Lack of examples of Gaming Professionals as there are very very few people from India have ventured the gaming industry as artists, designers, developers, coders, tester or just professional (e-sports) gamers in India since the time of the 90s. So, just like the Core IT industry, or Banking Industry, the Gaming Industry have never been considered a worthy industry where one could establish a career.
- Lack of game development studios in India is another reason, why people never recognized the gaming industry as a legit one in India. Because of the lack of Indian Game publishers, you will not very few numbers of big game titles which are set on the Indian environment.
- Bad quality Internet service in most of the places, even at most of the place internet service is very costly as well, and these problems can be seen throughout the places in India. As when it comes to gaming, you will be needing a very good internet connection likely to be broadband or fibre-net facility for your setup. But in India fibre-net is not available throughout the country even 2020. Hyderabad and Kolkata are considered as some of the best places to have good & low-cost internet. Even Delhi, Mumbai, Pune provides quality internet connection at a decent price. While at Bangalore, Chennai, Bhubaneswar you can find good internet connection but for a high price. But in cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, or at somewhere in north-east India then getting a good quality internet connection is a quiet of a challenge.
- Lack of serious gaming community and professional gaming teams is another problem in the Indian Gaming industry. Even at this overwhelming era of social networks, there are very few serious gaming communities which you can find here in India. The lack of gaming communities leads to a lack of sponsor coverages, promotional facilities, lack of organized events and all. Communication barriers and not communicating at all along with the fellow players due to introversion is very common in India, so very few people do have a circle around them full of passionate gamers, which limit their imagination over the industry and gaming related careers as well.
- Being a hardcore gamer is not a talent or skillset in India, as it is considered as a time pass thing only. Gaming obsession is treated as a taboo in Indian societies. In India apart from Government service, Law practice, Management studies, Engineering and Medical, most of the people do not think of anything else as a legit job opportunity, hence Gaming is not a career choice at all, which limits the talented people on landing on this industry. Funny thing is many of the people in India consider the teaching profession as a losers’ job as well.
- Deficiency of Female Gamers is also to blame partly. The gender ratio is very important for a boost in any industry. Especially when there are lots of potentials, there are very rare female faces in Indian Gaming. The truth is in the Indian gaming ecosystem, right now it is very easy to be established as a full-time gamer for a girl, but most of the girls do not even care about this opportunity. Almost 90% of the Indian female population do not even consider gaming as a real thing.
- Lack of Marketing Event and Cosplay Events are also a big reason why gaming has not reached all the minds in a country like any TV shows or Bollywood movies. Events like gamer connect, PUBG Screams, PMCO, PMSC are quite new at India, and till date, the number of events is quite less than its needed. The Cosplay events do endorse the culture even more, just like people do follow the fashion endorsed by the Movie celebrity, Gaming cosplay Events are also needed, but you wouldn’t find any in India.
- Almost 85% of the Indian gamers came to the scene of gaming after the launch of Reliance Jio 4G network, which implies that the majority of the Indian gamers are Mobile Players. While in India 85% of the players are Mobile gamers (according to FY 2017 revenue report) and 12% of PC gamers and only 3% of them are Console Gamers, you can clearly see the lack of balance on all the gaming platforms. This lack of balance is also limiting the Indian Gaming industry from all-round growth. Most of the sponsors, Pro Teams, e-sports banners are into PC gaming and console gaming, that is why the Indian gaming industry is growing with a quite slower pace.
- A huge amount of Gaming Piracy can still be noticed in Indian gaming ecosystem, which makes the Game marketing in India quite lost for the developers and publishers.
- Considering the above points, in the gaming industry, we are even backwards then countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and of course China. While many of these named countries have even lower per capita income and lower GDP at their country. But the market penetration was very good by the gaming publishers and event organizers, also Gaming Event organizing business is not like a monopoly business in there unlike India, where it is quite a Monopoly business. Also, all the above-named countries do have greater quality internet services at an even more affordable price.
Pros of Indian Gaming Industry
- India has the World’s largest youth population, hence the largest number of a potential gamer and the largest potential market.
- India comprises the World’s second-largest Internet-using population, so reaching towards the end-user is quite easier and Indian people are already attracted towards the upcoming tech cultures including Gaming.
- India is the biggest depot of creative talent. Whether it is Software Engineer or Electronics Engineers, Programmers or Freelance Coder, whether it is Artist or Graphics designers or sound engineers you will find all in great quality and in cheap price at India. Even if it is Marketing, Social media influencing. Live streaming, content creation, you will find all type of people in India on a huge amount, as India is the largest depot of Human Resource and also comprises the 2nd largest number of consumers. Which makes it easier for the Developers and publishers to establish their setup and projects in India.
- India may be backward in the Gaming industry but not in cutting edge technology, so India with great quality but cheap Human resource you will also find all other infrastructural supports and technology for setting up all relevant gaming development, publication and event setups.
- Offices of Microsoft, Nvidia, Ubisoft, Zynga, Electronic Arts, Disney, Google, YouTube, Sony, Codemasters, Digital Chocolate, all are already present in India.
- Due to the low capita earning society, most of the publisher does put the prices down for their games. Especially on Steam, you can find games cost nearly half of the priced-in INR compared to their USD. So, the publishers and developers have started exploring the Indian Gaming market already.
- Due to Piracy control and increased awareness among gamers, the Piracy on Gaming is slowly falling down in numbers in India. Though in this path there is a long way to go, the revolution has already begun.
- Though 85% of the Indian gamers are on Mobile gaming, that does provide India to be a unique sector and also provides the opportunity to become the world’s largest mobile gaming market as well.
- The user penetration ratio has already quite increased, and it said to be 19.9% increase in 2018 and it is the amount to be 26% within 2022.
- The revenue from the gaming sector is increasing it is about to be 943 million USD within 2022, while NASCOM claims it will even cross the 1 Billion USD value.
- Due to the decreasing number of jobs in the IT sectors and the huge number of unemployed people in India, the eagerness and welcome mindset for any new upcoming industry is as high as it can be.
- Many students are considering, CGI, VFX, Sound designing as their choice of career.
Now it is true, that at 2020 you can consider gaming industry as your pathfinder for the career, but as we discussed already there are various type of paths, not only just being a player, you can become a programmer, a VFX designer, a sound artist, and artwork artist, a indie game developer, freelance developer, game tester, e-sports player, content creator, live streamer, social media influencer & entertainer and many more.
Just like any other profession, you have to prepare yourself for the tough competition and you have to face many hurdles. Remember, choosing a gaming-related career is does not make your way easier, but actually way more harder, with a greater reward and recognition.
Tencent Gaming already have done a nice job with their PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile and the official emulator Tencent Gaming Buddy aka GameLoop, and it is time that other relevant organizations also do come in front and grab the market, as well as the Indian business giants also should start raising their own setups to penetrate the market even more. Like this, not only a new industry will boom, but it will endorse a new way of life in the Indian ecosystem.