The last session on Day Two of FICCI Frames 2006 focussed one of the fastest growing mediums of entertainment - gaming, be it online, mobile or on any other source. A panel comprising Ninad Chayya, EVP, Paradox Studios; Max Tan, ISV Alliance Manager, Digital Content Creation, HP PSG Asia Pacific; and Ashay Padwal, Head of Technology, Mauj, discussed the status of gaming in India, the growth opportunities and challenges in the session titled ‘Building a Vvaluable Gaming Market in India’. Mike McCabe, Director, Mobile & Third Party Development Asia was the moderator.
The main worry for an overseas game developer to come to India is deciding on the content for games. “The taste of local people is limited to either Bollywood or cricket,” noted McCabe. What is gaining momentum in the domestic sphere are online gaming and mobile gaming. Stating that “in India, we’ll mainly focus on online gaming,” McCabe said that the main business models that brought revenue to the gaming industry here "comes through subscription, micro-transactions, pay per play, which is very popular locally, and packaged games”.
Taking the discussion forward, Padwal, Mauj focused on what sort of games would do well in India and the major challenges. He said, “Games need to be developed more in local languages and one should be keyed in to the mass culture.” “For gaming to catch up, it should be backed up with offline rewards,” he added.
Though gaming is a multi-billion industry, it is plagued by piracy, which needs to be tackled with a heavy hand. The panelists were of the opinion that bringing down the prices of games was one way to deal with piracy.
So, what is the future of this fledgling industry? The players in the segment are optimistic about its future as they see more of mobile penetration, greater access to broadband and affordable computers, increase in the use of cyber cafes by young people, and brand promotion through advergaming on the mobile and web platform.
On being asked which genres would catch up fast with local taste, Chayya replied, “action and racing games are doing great along with puzzles.” Though discussions on this industry’s growth continue, players haven’t set aside a percentage target that they would like to achieve, as McCabe said, “We cannot fix a percentage to gaming because it is still in a nascent stage. We would like to grow tremendously.”
Therefore, now that gaming has started in India, it will definitely pick up well because when there is a demand, the supply will automatically flow in.