The gaming industry in the last decade saw a majestic rise of the retail e-commerce space which today generates over $20 billion annually. The gaming space is a dwarf that is on track to create $250 million in profits this year. Propelled by a tremendous demographic tailwind, the gaming industry in India will become a significant part of the entertainment industry in the country, next to Bollywood. Within the coming three to five years most soothsayers see the revenue chart of the gaming industry to generate $1 billion. Comparing to the roughly $3 billion in revenues that Bollywood brings to the table today, one can assume or let’s just say one can believe that the gaming industry will rise in the coming years and is not just a theory.
Why would Indians give more and more of their time and disposable income to gaming as a form of entertainment?
The Co-founder and Co-CEO of Play Games24x7, Trivikraman Thampy, believes that firstly it is essential to understand the impact mobile games have had and the ripple it will create in the life of an online Indian gamer. But when it comes to sharing wallet credentials, people are bound to address their basic needs first and then they may indulge in any of the remaining disposable income to satisfy in whatever suits their fancy.
60 percent of gamers are under the age of 25 in the country where 50 percent of the country’s population has an average age of 25 years. So the future of both the gaming industry and the nation has a long way to go. This is a remarkable statistic if the entire social gaming industry in the USA is considered. In the US, early stages of the gaming industry were driven by middle-aged women who had plenty of money and time to spend while the Indians under 25 years of age lack the money. For instance, At Play Games24x7, which is one of India’s most significant gaming entity, and the demographics state that irrespective of the game, while the under the age of 25, players show incredible engagement levels but 95 percent of revenue is generated by players who are over 25. And this necessarily is the demographic setback.
It is believed that over the next decade or so, India will have produced 190 million Indians of gaming age. They will pass the age barrier of 25 and will have the sufficient disposable money finally to spend on games. This is also going to be a generation that would be more open to experimenting and comes with no predefined notions of entertainment. A classic case is a youth in the US where a 15-year-old now spends an incredible 60 minutes a day playing games. Something like this wasn’t thinkable even a decade ago, but now the concept of entertainment is shifting from passive such as watching TV to active, like playing games or engaging with people or even a system.
Active engagement is already what the next generation wants, and game developers have got creative in doing that. The video games that are released these days are not only visually gem but also have a compelling narrative. If we take Pokémon Go as a case in point, we can see the developers going the extra mile to need that kind of innovation on an ongoing basis. As game developers deliver more immersive experiences where the virtual world comes closer and closer to the real world, the future of gaming industry will thrive. Another instance is that being a resident of Delhi, I can’t physically play rummy with my friend from Mumbai, but I can enjoy it over online gaming. How could any other form of entertainment contest with such an immersive adventure which would be a paradigm shift in what we understand today as social gaming?