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Younger gamers moving away from watching traditional sports on TV: Report

Not much time has passed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while conducting ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ with school students, struck a chord with Indian gaming enthusiasts by asking ‘Ye PUBG waala hai kya?’ (Is he a PUBG player), acknowledging the rise of gaming culture in India. This culture continues to pervade, according to the latest “State of Online Gaming” research report on worldwide consumers’ gaming behaviours and expectations from Limelight Networks, a leading provider of edge cloud services. 

The global study reveals that Indian gamers are spending nearly seven hours each week playing online games. 23.4 per cent play for more than seven hours each week, with 11.4 per cent playing more than 12 hours a week. The time spent playing games has interfered with their lifestyle, social activities and even career aspiration. 

45 per cent of Indian gamers admitted that they have missed sleep to play; 37 per cent skipped a meal and 35 per cent missed out on spending time with friends or going on a date. More than any other country, India has the most gamers missing work so they can play, at 24.2 per cent. As prize money from gaming tournaments continues to rise, more people are considering video gaming as a professional career. Globally, India has the highest percentage of gamers – at 49.2 per cent – who are considering quitting their jobs to become professionals. 

Compared with gaming consoles, computers, and tablets, mobile phones remain the most popular device for gameplay in India – a consistent preference across the world. Computers and tablets are also widely used in India more than any other country. 

Additional insights from the report include: 

Indians prefer to download their games: Downloading remains the common method of acquiring video games across the world. 74.6 per cent of Indian gamers prefer to download their games, as compared to buying or renting a physical copy. Trading games with other players continues to experience popularity in India at 4.4 per cent, higher than the UK and the US. 

Game download speed is still an issue: Over 90 per cent of Indian gamers find the process of downloading video games frustrating. Whilst the length of time it takes to download games was noted to be a top issue globally at 33.8 per cent, Indian gamers find that interruption to the download process is their top frustration at 38.2 per cent. 

Performance matters: Performance is the most important consideration for Indian gamers and how fast the game loads has the greatest impact on their experience. Ease of gameplay, storyline, and the ability to play offline are secondary considerations. 

Ashwin Rao, Director, India at Limelight Networks, remarked, “The global gaming industry has evolved brilliantly, giving gamers increased access to a variety of video and mobile games. To support the continued growth of the gaming industry, game operators need to evaluate the state of their content delivery platform to overcome the challenges of latency, especially for online games. With the technologies available, there are opportunities to optimise download process and loading speed to provide gamers with the best online gaming experience.” 

The State of Online Gaming report is based on responses from 4,500 consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, age 18 years and older, who play video games at least once a week. 

While traditional broadcast sports are favoured by older gamers, younger gamers are moving away from watching traditional sports on television. This trend will have a major impact on the value of broadcast sports rights in the future. The study found that almost 41 per cent of gamers in the 18-25 age group never watch traditional sports on television; while only 25 .2 per cent of those 36 years or older do not watch broadcast sports. 

Gamers in the 18-25 age group watch other people play video games online nearly four hours each week. That is 77 per cent more than the two hours 14 minutes they spend watching traditional broadcast sports on television. And gamers in the 26-35 age group watch other people play online an average of three hours 41 minutes per week, only two minutes less than what they spend watching traditional sports on television.

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