Top 5 Online Gaming Trends In India In 2020 Although, the industry is in its nascent stage yet the initial stages itself are suggestive of a proper gaming ecosystem under construction
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A prediction that was made back in 2017 is increasingly becoming a reality. The gaming industry is gaining way more prominence in India than expected with the Internet and smartphone penetrating the minds of generally all age groups but particularly the exuberant youth of India.
In 2017, KPMG in a report said the online gaming industry in India will add 190 million gamers and very likely touch $1 billion in revenue by 2021. The fact that the industry is growing at a rate of 22 per cent currently, bears testimony to what the KPMG report had observed. And of course, COVID-19, otherwise quite deadly, has aided the progress as people are staying indoors and majority are turning to gaming platforms to while away their time. Indubitably, these platforms are attracting hundreds and thousands of new gamers on a daily basis.
Although, the industry is in its nascent stage yet the initial stages itself are suggestive of a proper gaming ecosystem under construction this year. With the focus on making cutting-edge games, the ecosystem is already buzzing with game developers, designers, investors and marketers, among others, all working in tandem to satisfy the end users known as gamers.
To understand what's in store for us in 2020 and the years to come, let's check out the top five trends that are likely to define India's gaming industry.
A major demand which gamers have in their list is to have a platform with plenty of games in it. Similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime, which are platforms where one can avail thousands of movies, a cloud-based gaming service has come into the reckoning. These platforms will have an abundance of games from a variety of publishers all in one place for the gamers to relish. Tech-giants Google and Apple were quick to realize the potential of cloud-based gaming service and introduced Arcade and Stadia, respectively, on a subscription-based model towards the end of 2019. This year we might see Arcade and Stadia move up a notch. They are available across multiple platforms—mobiles, desktops, Laptops, iPads and Macs, and are all poised to manipulate the gaming world in the years to come.
Love For Casual Games
Since a couple of years, the Indian audience have also been glued to casual games with localized content. And in 2020, unarguably one can say the demand for it has reached its summit with a greedy target of touching the sky's limit. Much credit can also be given to the COVID-19 pandemic which has grounded practically every other sector. Casual games such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Fruit Ninja, etc, continue to lure the public into its folds as they can help in de-stressing and primarily played for fun. These games are available in app form or in the respective websites where tutorials on how to play are also provided. Game developers, over the recent years, have also indulged in making the games multilingual to attract more audience from all parts of the country.
Real Money Gaming
Real money games are the ones wherein gamers have to put in some money as a bet or entry fee in order to get a higher amount in return or cash back benefits have been on the rise for a few years. The first wave of real money games in India was started with Adda 52, Rummy, Poker and then came the second wave of fantasy games driven by the likes of Dream 11, Mobile Premier League, etc.
Betting has its roots in the history of sports in India but with the emergence of fantasy games, which gives betting a legal status, billions of Indians have bet equal amounts of money on these games. In 2018, according to a report, Indian gamers spent a staggering $1.73 billion in online sports betting and this number is set to increase monumentally this year, especially after cricket resumes in the country. Some analysis reports have also suggested that, despite cricket dominating the betting segment, Indians will also sway into other sports such as Kabbadi, Football, Hockey, etc, for better chances of winning bets.
Socializing via gaming is particularly a new characteristic of online gaming. The gamer gets the opportunity to not only earn a paycheck for himself while gaming but also indulge in joyful competition with family, friends and strangers no matter where they are in the world. If looked at from a psychological point of view, the gamer is no longer the loner but can involve him into socializing with people who share the same passions. In 2019, Chinese social gaming app HAGO was swift in popularizing itself among the Indian audience. The game, which allows users to discover friends, host "voice parties', play games and earn rewards in return, crossed 1 million downloads in a year. Other games such as Ludo King, Habbo, PUBG, etc, also gained huge prominence in India because they helped gamers create a community for themselves.
Live Stream While Playing
You must have seen the concept of e-sports largely blooming this year with COVID-19 shutting down all sports activities. Months before the English Premier League resumed in mid-June, professional football players instead of taking the field were shown competing against each other in football video games (FIFA 20). A huge craze had built itself around this concept. You see, India is a sports loving nation and when you give gamers a chance to provide their viewpoints on the games they love; to choose the teams, plan out the strategy and implement them in the virtual world via video games, the popularity of it is bound to skyrocket. No wonder experts have predicted the e-sports industry in India to be valued at around INR 11,880 crore by 2023.