Skill gaming industry: The road ahead

the asian age

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The cost of playing online games have plummeted, thanks to affordable internet connectivity.

The interactive nature of games makes them different from all other forms of entertainment like film, television, music and theater. (Photo: Pixabay)

The Indian skill gaming industry has been in the limelight in the recent years, seeing a fantastic growth rate year on year. With technology penetrating into virtually every aspect of our lives, gaming is now ubiquitous. Online games are played across the country, connecting millions of players almost instantly, by the internet. The cost of playing online games have plummeted, thanks to affordable internet connectivity. But the most important factor in the success of skill games in India is the passion of the players and the dedication of the game developers.

The interactive nature of games makes them different from all other forms of entertainment like film, television, music and theater. Playing different types of games has itself become an art. The best games today allow players to differentiate themselves through skills. Games transport the player into an entirely new world through visuals, graphics and challenging game play.

Games have grown to be a cultural force and an economic powerhouse. As per the report by KPMG, there are over 250 million players who play games on their devices. By 2021, India’s gaming industry is expected to earn revenue over USD 340 million, according to a Frost and Sullivan estimate.

What makes Skill Games Click?

Skill based games allow a player to work on his game play strategy and improve as he goes along. There is no luck involved in these games. The more one practices and plays a game, the better he gets at it, just like sports. The players today, don’t just play games for leisure, but for the challenge and thrill it offers as well. Games of skill give the players the confidence that winning is not a matter of chance but his pure ability to win the game. With the right combination of skill, adroitness and experience, a player can move towards a win with ease.  

If we talk about investments, this segment of online gaming is among the biggest VC investments. As per a report by Deloitte, skill based card games like rummy has grown at CAGR 67.58 percent in the last three years. Another strong pillar of skill games, fantasy games grew at CAGR 199.69 percent in 2017-18. This growth not only gives players a range of skill games to play, but also the ability for the Indian start ups to upgrade their service offerings and introduce new formats of game, leveraging emerging technologies like AR and VR.

The potential of India’s gaming industry

India is among the largest potential markets for online gaming. It is presently valued at USD 350 Mn and is set to grow to USD 1 billion at a CAGR 20 per cent by the end of year 2021 as per Google Report. This growth is not lead by just one single factor, but a combination of many things coming together.

With Jio making internet affordable and accessible to everyone, it is expected internet users to reach 750 million by 2020. This will directly mean, more people online, accessing different games on their devices. Another important factor is the rise of disposable income that is expected to rise by over 50 per cent in the same time frame.

Today, there is around 60 per cent of Internet population of India playing online games. This is all ready to grow from 250 million to 350 million by 2021 at a CAGR of 17 per cent. Further, there is expected to be over 300 million smartphone users, with more and more of budget smartphones hitting the market.

Digital payments have recently come to age and players today ask for multiple payment options when playing online games. The users understand that online payments are safe and almost all gaming platforms offer various payment options to pick from. We see digital payment users around 60-80 million, however by 2020 it will be over 300 million.

Localised games like rummy and others have brought the focus back on traditional Indian games that the players are familiar with. These games take less data and memory and also have an immediate connect with the players. 

All these factors together, is driving the growth of India’s gaming industry with skill games taking the lead.

Skill Games offer the best experience

Skill games are all about strategy. The strategy arises from the knowledge of the game and how to maximize efficiency. The games are constantly evolving and hence the strategies shift. Successful games receive continuous and balanced changes, changing and challenging players to adapt and be flexible. Software updates that adjust gameplay mechanics mean that no single strategy can remain dominant for too long. The challenge is balancing this evolution without diminishing or disrupting the skills and experience of the player. It’s a healthy spot between being stable enough for the players to master it at a deep level and flexible enough that it can evolve, grow and improve.

Skill games are committed to provide all these elements. From card games to fantasy games, skill games have the country engaged, excited and entertained all at the same time. Skill games are the future of online gaming industry in India.

By Bhavin Pandya, CO-founder and CEO of Games 24x7.

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