How gaming & esports are fuelling an alternate revenue ecosystem for gamers

Five years back, hyper casual or fun games were more popular among mobile gaming enthusiasts of India. However, the entry of PUBG Mobile in India shook up the entire ecosystem forever for good. Even after PUBG was banned by the Indian Government in 2020 owing to data security concerns, the fledging esports-loving mobile gaming community in India continued to grow manifold, as most of them moved on to other battle games like Garena FreeFire, Call of Duty and so on. Krafton’s made-for-India game, Battlegrounds Mobile India, that has just been launched, has already garnered a lion’s share of the gamers in the country.

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Esports is a form of competition using video games. These games can be played on PC as well as mobile phones. The difference in desktop and mobile esports is that the prize pool is greater in mobile gaming tournaments compared to PC gaming tournaments, since mobile games have more audience and participation than PC games. It currently has a lot more engagement, viewerbase and also more players trying to make it in the mobile gaming industry.

According to the HP India Gaming Landscape Report 2021, 89% of the respondents believed that a PC offered a better gaming experience than a smartphone. More importantly, 4 in 10 (37%) mobile gamers indicated that they would migrate to a PC for gaming for a much better experience.

Ever since PUBG was banned, there is no other mobile tournament that can be held at a larger scale on mobile. In terms of prize pool, Skyesports League and The Esports club are the two major esports tournaments for PCs.

Earning bonanza for gamers

Gaming is increasingly becoming a lucrative source of income for the players. If someone is a tier 1 player in mobile and a streamer, then he can earn more than Rs 2.5 lakh per month. If one is a tier 2-3 player, then the earnings could be around Rs 1 lakh. In PC, if one is a tier 1 player and a streamer, he can earn more than Rs 1 lakh and if he is a tier 2-3 player, then he can earn around Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000+.

Speaking about the earning potential for players from esports, Saloni Pawar, a gamer who goes by the name Meow16k, said, “Revenue of an individual depends on the content, skills of the streamer/ professional player and the time that he/she is dedicating to the profession. From earning $100 to $10,000 or more, depends on the hard work and time one puts up at the right place and at the right time.”

Another gamer, Simar Sethi, who goes by the name PSY Gaming, informed, “Being a professional player, we practice 8 hours a day as a team and as an individual for 2 hours a day, so in total we practice for 10 hours. The engagement completely depends on how famous and popular you are, if you have good numbers then you can earn some good side money from promotions and ads.”

The online gaming segment has grown at a rapid pace in the last 3-4 years and is now competing with traditional forms of entertainment for the share of time spent on media and entertainment in a day. 

However, according to a KPMG Report, “Not many Indian studios have made a mark on the global stage due to the emerging nature of the Indian market; low consumer spends on games and relatively lower game design capabilities. However, as monetisation improves in India, these aspects are likely to start getting addressed, evident by the success of some Indian titles during the lockdown 2020.”

Speaking about the challenge and gaming as a career, Abhishek Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CEO, Trinity Gaming, said, “The mindset of the people is a challenge for the esports industry in India. In some parts of the country, people still think that gaming and esports is not a viable career option. But once we see the career chart that these current influencers and current athletes are following in gaming and esports, what I believe is that it is definitely a very viable career option. So, people need to understand that if people who have some sort of skillset and they are passionate about gaming and esports, they should pursue gaming and esports as a career option.”

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