The Indian online gaming industry has been growing at a brisk pace over the past couple of years, with increasing investments and awareness about it. The entry of big players in this space has also added to this growth. According to the report published by IMRB International on behalf of the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the online gaming industry is worth Rs 21 crore.
“Currently, most of the revenue in this segment is from organised cyber cafés (Rs 12.17 crore) and from subscription-based revenue (Rs 6.6 crore). The contribution of advertising (Rs 2.24 crore), which is currently low, should go up over the next two-three years,” points out the report.
With almost 28 per cent of the younger user groups (school and college going students) using the Internet for entertainment purposes, there is a huge market waiting to be explored by the marketers. The contribution of advertising to the Indian online gaming industry is only the beginning.
Meanwhile, “The casual gamers lead the gaming industry in the country, while the community of hardcore gamers, which is defined as those gaming for more than four-six hours a week, is limited to a mere two-three per cent of the total gamers in India,” the report observes. This essentially means that the best bet to reach the youth TG in this segment would be through casual gaming portals.
However, brands can reach their TG through advertising models like advergames, where games are developed especially for a particular brand with deep integration of the brand into the game; in-game placements, where brand/logos are placed inside an existing game; and on-site advertising, where banner ads are displayed on gaming sites and pages of the portals.
A positive aspect always has a negative angle to it. In this case, the report point out that ‘demonstrating advertiser value’ is an issue for this space in the country presently. Elaborating it, the report explained, “Online advertising per se is only slowly being accepted by large advertisers in India. Specialised forms of online gaming advertising such as advergames and in-game placements are perhaps too early for the Indian market.”
“Industry stakeholders felt that banner ads also have inherent limitations for online gaming sites. While they can be placed on the home page or when a user is making a selection, they cannot be deployed while the game is on, as it would interfere with the gaming experience. It could therefore be a challenge for online gaming portals to demonstrate value to advertisers in the traditional manner,” the report concluded.