Mobile Gaming Industry in India is pressing all the right buttons: Amin Rozani
Authored by Amin Rozani, Founder and MD, The Spartan Poker
Amin Rozani, the Founder and Managing Director of The Spartan Poker, is popularly known as The Poker Badshah. Since its inception in 2014, The Spartan Poker, India’s leading and most-trustworthy online poker gaming portal, has in a very short time seen an exceptional growth with millions of players using the portal.
Amin’s stint with online poker began in the days when he worked in the BPO industry back in 2009. Learning the tricks of the trade, he gradually started participating in poker tournaments across Asia. Over time, Amin went strength to strength in the Poker/gaming industry eventually becoming the Poker tycoon of Mumbai.
With the launch of The Spartan Poker, Amin has revolutionized the online Poker gaming landscape by providing a trustworthy and fun environment to Poker aficionados.
Legendary Japanese video game designer and producer of Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto rightly said, “The obvious objective of video games is to entertain people by surprising them with new experiences;” and looking at the rate at which the mobile industry in India is growing it certainly holds true. According to a report 'The Power of Gaming in India' released by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Kantar IMRB in association with POKKT, a smartphone advertising platform for mobile games, India now ranks amongst the top five markets for mobile gaming. Such is the fandom in a country of 250 million players, that gamers in India have been spending an average of 42 minutes per day playing mobile games as of 2017.
This is an industry that continues to display promising signs as it is projected to be worth $943 million in 2022. This golden run has continued due to the increase in the number of smartphone users, growing Internet penetration and mobile applications that provide a huge opportunity for advertising and other ancillary industries in the mobile gaming space.
Listed below are some opportunities and challenges that arise with the growth of mobile gaming in India.
With so much time being spent on mobile devices by the Indian mobile gamer, there is a huge opportunity for marketers to tap into the space. Brands benefit from advertising on mobile gaming platforms due to the longer attention span given to mobile games. It is seen that there is an extremely low resistance to in-game advertising, as compared to other channels because the audience would prefer watching an advert instead of spending money to purchase the game. This is a golden opportunity for marketers to communicate with their consumers, especially since mobile gamers perceive in-game ads to be more personalized and relevant than traditional media.
According to a report by KPMG, the top three games by download and revenues in India all belong to the Free-to-Play model. They are monetized via in-game and incentive-based advertisement. This is the model best suited for the Indian market, as the Indian audience still thinks twice before making a purchase for these games. Two of the most popular games played in the country - Candy Crush and Clash of Clans see less than 1% of daily active users make in-app purchases in India. This resulted in both of these games implement a freemium model with regards to monetisation.
While mobile gaming has created a plethora of opportunities for advertisers, it has also raised some challenges like, the vast number options available for the audience. These games may be available to download on app stores at the click of a button, but with many other games also being present out there, discovery is a concern for many gaming companies and therefore advertisers. After all, the more downloads a game gets, the better its rankings, which will lead to growth in number of advertisers.
Emergence of New Players
From a mere 25 game development companies in 2010 to more than 250 in the country today, the Indian digital gaming industry is growing rapidly. Now worth at an estimated $900 million, the rise seen in the Indian digital gaming space can be attributed to the increased accessibility to these games that can be downloaded, at the click of a button, onto smartphones.
A major rise seen in the Indian gaming industry has been the amount of gaming start-ups that have blossomed in recent years. Not only have they been successful in receiving substantial capital from both foreign and domestic investors, but they have been making consistent contributions by putting India on the world gaming map. While we speak about quantity, we must also draw light to the quality of these developers who have built a reputation of exceptional level of coding standards, skills, gaming talent and delivering a quality game that meets the expectations of gamers.
The School of Learning Via Gaming
Mobile games may be fun and immersive but contrary to what people believe, there’s a lot of skill development that takes place when they are played by playing them. Not only do mobile games develop one's cognitive skills, they have also shown to develop problem solving, spatial and hand-eye co-ordination skills along with vision and speed skills. These games can teach timing skills, as the timing of a move is crucial while playing these games. Games belonging to the puzzle genre do teach the player organisation skills, while resource management is another key skill in strategy games as many games provide a player with a limited amount of resources which need to be rationed to complete the game.
The Growth of Mobile e-sports in India
The thrill of gaming further augmented with social media has given rise to this phenomenon called e-sports. Gamers here and worldwide, participate on a competitive level against other teams professionally while millions of users watch the teams battle it out in another world. With there being more acceptance towards gaming, with it being recognised and accepted in the country; more and more gamers are looking to take it up professionally as a career, thus expanding the digital gaming landscape. Furthermore, e-sports can garner a lot of visibility for companies to advertise, with about two million e-sports viewers in India and which is expected to grow five times by 2021.
The signs of the mobile gaming industry growing in India do look promising with the influx of game developers, their monetisation models and increase in mobile game competitions. However, the best is yet to come as far as India’s mobile gaming market is concerned. There is so much untapped potential in the Indian market that we do not know what the Indian mobile gaming industry can achieve operating at its full potential. Well begun is half done, indeed.