Online competitive games with Real Money Prizes: An Exciting Emerging Business in India

As the millennial mind seeks instant gratification in almost every act, these Real Money Games (RMGs) that offer prize money to the winners have witnessed huge demand and traction from the players

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By Harsha Sachdeva

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Man is a social animal - It has been proved from time to time through various researches and experiments that while a human can survive alone, thriving is only possible in groups. Gaming has been one of the social activities that have long been celebrated as carnivals and festivals. So, it will be safe to say that gaming is as old as mankind.

Mobile games have been popular since the beginning of the mobile phone era. Smartphones created richer gameplay and created multi-billion-dollar gaming businesses. Cheap internet / mobile internet is now creating massive opportunity in competitive mobile gaming – 1:1 contests or group contests. In many senses, this is bringing back the social engagement/interaction that was getting lost as more and more folks were spending time with their phones rather than friends or family.

Evolution of the Gaming Industry

The gaming industry in India has undergone various transitions in contemporary times. The proliferation of technology and increased accessibility of the internet has played a key role in changing this industry for the good. One of the most dramatic changes is that it has extended from being a solo activity to a thriving online social activity. The enhanced gaming appetite has attracted big-money towards the industry, with increased overseas investment and partnership, mostly from China. India has become one of the top five nations for mobile-gaming across the world. It is estimated that India's mobile games market will be worth $1.1 billion with the number of users becoming 628 million, by 2020.

Modern Trends

Society's outlook towards gaming has been evolving over time. Gaming has always been a global phenomenon, practised legally or illegally. Games of skill have always been rewarded and winners celebrated. In many senses, the Olympics are the highest game of skill in their fields. The rise of eSports is also indicating that there is a strong human need to "see" great players compete and play for prize monies.

One of the strongest trends in recent times is the rise of gaming where players pay for the right to compete thru tickets, lives, in-app purchases and winners are incentivized with monetary rewards. As the millennial mind seeks instant gratification in almost every act, these Real Money Games (RMGs) that offer prize money to the winners have witnessed huge demand and traction from the players. The element of competing with friends/family and/or top players adds a fun element that is going down well with fun-loving jolly-good Indians, who now have got new avenues to explore mobile use-case.

The RMG industry offers poker, rummy, E-sports, trivia-quizzing and a lot more. This plethora of alternatives is the reason that gaming apps reside in the top three categories of applications installed by Indian users. The number of installations saw a 52per cent jump from 2017 to 2018.

The Skills Required

Most of the RMGs can be played only if the user is equipped with a peculiar skill-set and specific knowledge. Some new gaming apps have now emerged to address this problem. They allow users to earn money by playing simple games (hyper-casual games), which appeals to massively large audiences and is now becoming a threat to the specialized top game companies. The new RMG industry is still emerging and it does not take an economic pundit to judge that its growth is still in an early stage with an exponential phase ahead. It has created its own niche of users under the umbrella of the conventional gaming industry. Due to the existence of a vast number of gaming-enthusiasts and the simplification of technology and proliferation of networks (earlier inaccessible in many areas), every RMG has the chance to benefit from this infrastructure growth. Every new gaming app is able to obtain payback in a convenient time-frame and they soon turn profitable. Hence, online competitive games with real money prizes still have a lot of scope. We just need the right mindset and technical logistics to exploit it.

The stage is set for RMG mobile gaming to become a rage. Will you join in?

Harsha Sachdeva

Co- Founder of Funnearn

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