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Smaller cities help India embrace mobile games

THE ASIAN AGE. | ARCHAK SENGUPTA
Published : Dec 5, 2018, 2:07 am IST
Updated : Dec 5, 2018, 2:07 am IST

Cheaper data and more smartphones give a boost to Indian gaming biz.

With the proliferation of digital wallets and growing trust in digital transactions, gamers are willing to make in-app purchase leading to boost for the developers.
 With the proliferation of digital wallets and growing trust in digital transactions, gamers are willing to make in-app purchase leading to boost for the developers.

Hyderabad: Thanks to cheaper 4G data and proliferation of capable entry-level smartphones, the gaming sector has finally arrived in India, a market long touted to be the biggest after the US and China.

According to industry captains, two myths had gathered momentum globally about India — that Indians are not willing to download big games and that they are not ready to pay for games.

But, they claim, Indians have proved them wrong, going by last year’s trends on game downloads.

Speaking at the sidelines of India Game Developers Conference, Nasscom Gaming Forum chair Rajesh Rao said, “Sparked by cheap data and capable entry-level smartphones, there has been a huge jump in the discovery of games. To our surprise, this jump, mainly, comes from the tier-2 and tier-3 cities.”

Citing the recent craze for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or as it is better known PUBG, in India, Mr Rao said, “PUBG, which has gained a lot of traction in the country, is quite a big download and during the sale of its season passes, there is a noticeable spike in sale. This, effectively, busts the two myths that somehow got associated with India.”

Echoing Mr Rao’s views, Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal said, “With Jio’s entry, data became cheaper leading to people discovering more content. Moreover, with the proliferation of digital wallets and growing trust in digital transactions, gamers, now, are willing to make in-app purchase leading to revenue boost for developers.”

When asked about the trends, Mr Rao, who is also the founder of Dhurva Interactive,  said, “The jump in active users in games such as Ludo King, which has daily active users of around 12 million, has made gaming evolve into a mass entertainment. It’s no longer a niche entertainment.”

Junglee Games CEO and founder Ankush Gera too said that there is a huge  jump in microtransactions leading to developers being able generate grea-ter revenue.

He also went on to say that the Freemium model is likely to continue with in-app purchases being a major revenue earner for game developers.

Asked about the excessive ads that developers embed within games for monetisation, he said that there will always be the option to shift to a premium model which removes such ads and give the players a much better gaming experience and remove their gaming angst.

Tags: pubg, gaming sector