Home >> Digital >> Article

Mobile operators, handset makers rake it in with mobile gaming

10-January-2005
Font Size   16
Mobile operators, handset makers rake it in with mobile gaming

No matter how old you are, there’s always a ‘child’ in you. And who better than marketers to know this little secret? Mobile operators and manufacturers are increasingly tapping the fun side of consumers by introducing more and more Java games and devices. The mobile gaming market is gaining momentum in India, with not just teenagers but adults too catching up with the trend.

Today, one finds not just teenaged boys and girls hunched for hours over game consoles, playing ‘shoot ’em up’ games, but housewives too! “It’s just a fallacy that only teenagers like mobile games. It is true that a lot of players are teenagers. However, now a significant number of players belong to the 45-plus age group,” said Balu Nayar, Vice-President, Value Added Services, Hutchison.

Studies show that India is going to be the next major destination for the mobile gaming market. Market analysts aver that India is emerging as a massive market for mobile gaming and revenues of over $336 million are being predicted by 2009. The In-Stat/MDR study has forecast that mobile gaming would have generated $26 million by end-2004.

Interestingly, although the revenue contribution of value-added services (VAS) to the total GSM kitty may not be that significant now, marketers believe that there is a vast potential to grow. Asked on the revenue generated from mobile games, Mohit Bhatnagar, VP-Value Added Services and New Product Development, Airtel Mobile Services, said, “It is difficult to peg numbers but Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) circles say VAS contributed under 5 per cent of a GSM operator’s quarterly revenues in the past. That number, COAI says, has risen to 8-10 per cent for the biggest cellular operators. Internationally, 15-18 per cent of a mobile operator’s revenue comes from VAS. The Indian mobile industry is now looking at reaching a similar level.” Hutchison’s Nayar also believes the same: “The growth has been robust and is indicating10 per cent month-on-month.”

Both Hutch and Airtel claim that there has been a quantum leap in usage. An average of 1,20,000 mobile games were downloaded every month in 2004 by Hutch users. This is a phenomenal fifty-fold increase from an average of 2,200 game downloads in February 2003. This growth is expected to increase further with increasing penetration of GPRS handsets and applications, claimed Hutch officials.

Airtel’s Bhatnagar points to another trend. “The response so far has been extremely encouraging and the increase in popularity of mobile gaming is no longer limited to the metros. It is a phenomenon that is increasingly spreading to all A, B and C category circles,” he said, adding that Airtel has seen a 500 per cent increase in daily downloads for its VAS services compared to the first quarter in 2004.

Previously, one of the concerns for operators was the lack of handsets compatible with gaming. Nokia and Samsung have helped the cause by introducing any number of gaming handsets in recent times. This is not it. Manufacturers are also coming up with gaming championships. Gautam Advani, Multimedia Business Director, Nokia India, says, “N-Gage has helped to grow the size of the market. Previously, a mobile phone was just a communication tool; today it has become a multifunctional device. The challenge really was to create touch-points so that consumers could avail themselves of the new facilities.”

Another concern that is raised from these gaming activities is that of blue-jacking and other illegal activities. This is the reason why most operators are on the guard. “We have some security protocols and measures are being taken to prevent such activities,” Nayar said. Advani does not agree that this is a serious concern. “In India, there isn’t too much of illegal activities. Moreover, these games are protected under IPR. So you cannot copy the games without security access,” he explained.

As of now, Hutch is offering over 800 Java games and Airtel isn’t far behind. Airtel is sourcing these games from multiple game providers, including Indiagames, Mobile2win and IMI mobile. New and innovative games are being introduced every month. Mobile operators have sure found a fun side to doing business and raking it in!

Tags e4m

Kartikeya Sharma says that June has been the best month for sales in the 11 years that the brand has been in India

The newly appointed CEO of ZEE5 on how he aims to have the widest appeal in the OTT space amongst Indian consumers

The VP, Marketing and Communications (South Asia), talks about the company's growth strategy, its focus areas, impact of demonetisation on consumer behaviour and much more

Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, talks about channel's rebranding, extending fiction shows to weekends and much more

right
left
RADIO CITY CELEBRATES ITS 17TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CONCERT, AWARDS AND FUN 5TH EDITION OF TIMES NOW & ICICI BANK’S NRI OF THE YEAR AWARDS GLOBAL INDIANS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BENGALURU SEES TOP INDUSTRY LEADERS AND MARKETERS IN ATTENDANCE DISTINGUISHED JURY COMES TOGETHER TO PICK WINNERS FOR PITCH’S TOP 50 BRANDS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BANGALORE SEES TOP CMOS ACROSS INDUSTRIES IN ATTENDANCE 1ST REPUBLIC TV GULF INDIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT & AWARDS HONOUR STALWARTS OF INDIAN GULF BUSINESS COMMUNITY SONY YAY! CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH PARTY FOR TRADE PARTNERS THOUGHT LEADERS AND TOP DIGITAL MARKETERS SPEAK @ EXCHANGE4MEDIA GROUP’S TECHMANCH 2018 IN MUMBAI EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S IDMA 2018 RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY’S BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS REALTY PLUS UNVEILS COFFEE TABLE BOOK AT 10TH CONCLAVE & EXCELLENCE AWARDS @AHMEDABAD EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK WINNERS OF INDIAN DIGITAL MARKETING AWARDS 2018 OFF THE CUFF SEES ‘SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN’ MAN PARAMESWARAN IYER IN CONVERSATION WITH SHEKHAR GUPTA EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S LOUDEST.IN HOSTS INAUGURAL EDITION OF MUSIC INC. IN MUMBAI EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS PORTER PRIZE & INSTITUTE FOR COMPETITIVENESS RECOGNIZE STRATEGIC ACUMEN IN COMPANIES DELHI AD CLUB-SAARC AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE ACROSS CREATIVE, MEDIA & DIGITAL AGENCIES BSNL & CALL2ACTION COMMUNICATION INDIA LAUNCH MOBILE ADVERTISING PLATFORM, INFOMO IN NEW DELHI CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST KAILASH SATYARTHI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘EVERY CHILD MATTERS’ SENIOR JOURNALIST VIJAY TRIVEDI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘YADA YADA HI YOGI’ BASED ON YOGI ADITYANATH EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS

In the same week, in BARC's Top 10 Advertisers FMCG brand Hindustan Lever continued to reign the category

Hero Motocorp remained the leading advertiser followed by AMFI, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India.

Ali Hussein talks about the platform's consumer engagement strategy, relationships with telco-partners and what made the 40-year-old film company want to march in the OTT space