The gaming industry in India is burgeoning at a stupendous rate and catching the eye of several international players besides sprouting umpteen domestic players. Better mobile handsets will drive 3D gaming in a big way. Better PC penetration, broadband reach along with more players and casual games will boost online gaming.
The gaming industry is believed to have reached the size of $50 million by end of 2005 and this is excluding mobile gaming. Advertisers are turning their eyes to this medium too, to reap the rewards of having a sticky audience. For example, in a game of racing the product association could be a small banner of Castrol on the race tracks or a big logo of Suzuki on the bike. Both brands appeal to the teenagers and they can reach out to their audience effectively through the medium of advertising through games. With traditional media not serving causes for specific products and suffering from unstable media consumption, games as an advertising medium is growing. Venkat Mallik, Managing Director, Level-Up Network India Pvt Ltd, believes that advertising revenue through gaming is the icing on the cake.
Taking gaming to the next level
Online gaming is a big rage and those who are hooked really eat, breathe and sleep games. Recently, Level Up, a publisher of multiplayer online games announced an expansion of highly anticipated episode in Ragnarok - JUNO.
In mobile gaming, all kinds of content initiatives have been taken - with games on movies, popular characters and even small screen popular stars like ‘Jassi’. The caution note however according to Vishal Gondal, CEO, Indiagames reads - Develop content based on box office collections. If a film does well, then the probability of the game delivering is high says Gondal. It’s much like a Hit or Miss situation.
Gondal hails FICCI Frames as the ‘Mecca of entertainment industry’. He says, “Just like NASSCOM is a great association for software industry, FICCI Frames is a great platform for the entertainment industry.” Mallik of Level Up looks forward to meeting new people and learning about new trends in the gaming industry. He adds, “Gaming is a part of the entertainment industry and I look forward to the high quality presentations and interactions with interesting people of the domain.”
The Next big thing - Casual games; 3D games
Mallik of Ragnarok believes that there are two to three important trends that will shape online
gaming positively in the days to come. He elaborates, “New players will enter the domain. That will help grow online gaming. Along with that, better PC penetration and wider reach of broadband are expected to boost the industry.” The Level Up Managing Director is also laying his bet on the fact that more casual games are likely to drive online gaming further.
In the mobile gaming space, Gondal is upbeat about the improved quality handsets that are being made. He foresees that with such quality handsets, 3 D gaming and multiplayer games with the introduction of 3 G technology are the things to watch out for in mobile gaming.
Gopala Krishnan, CEO, Mobile2win Ltd, Hong Kong
according to you is the next big thing in gaming?
I believe that community gaming formats over the mobile Internet is the
next big thing in gaming. As networks improve and devices improve, there
will be more people on the mobile Internet in the next 4-5 years, than
the total number of installed PCs and gaming consoles in the world.
is gaming and mobile gaming headed?
Mobile gaming is definitely headed to much more differentiation based
on various forms, formats of gaming experiences. Just like it is on PCs
and consoles today. There are the MMORPGs, there are simple casual games,
there are casual games which are ‘not so simple’, there are
community gaming formats. The same levels of differentiation would start
emerging in the mobile space. You don’t see that currently. You
can visit an operator deck today and find a mobile games section where
all games are lumped together. This obviously indicates a gaming platform
of very low/early maturity.
is driving the gaming industry?
As long as people exist, they will play games. Gaming is as old as human
History. Why only people? Even animals play games! The gaming industry
will exist and thrive and grow as long as people exist. And, as people
are moving more and more out of existential challenges and into pursuit
of luxury with time available for it, gaming will only grow further.
are the positive trends that are working in favour of the mobile gaming
The single biggest driver is the increase in the number of handsets capable
of Java and Brew. Most new handsets that are being sold are rich handsets.
As a result of this increase in market share as well as increase in the
total base of users, we expect mobile game downloads to increase 300 per
cent or more over the next 12-18 months. Of course the low data charges
in India and high growth rates in wireless subscribers is an underlying