Online Gaming Article in the PC Magazine: Some Highlights

It’s no more a child’s play! Online Gaming is fast catching up in India. According to a research conducted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the nation now boasts of 2.8 million online gamers. Unlike more developed markets, online gaming in India is currently dominated by casual gamers, who play majorly for relaxation and leisure. This is primarily a youth driven segment of males in the age group of in their early twenties. But many industry analysts believe that the trajectory of online gaming in India will not be very different from that of China. Chinese market witnesses major growth in the period 2001-2005 to reach its current gamer base of 30 million.

But Online gaming in India is fast catching up with its global counterparts. According to a study conducted by IMRB, the online gaming industry in India is already a USD 210 industry. The market is expected to grow to USD 200 million by 2009.  At the moment, the market is concentrated in the Top 8 metros. 99% of Indian gamers belong to the metros.

Challenges: The major revenue for the industry is generated by cyber cafes. The challenges are majorly pertaining to the infrastructure which can support the right gaming environment. This would mainly entail PC Specs and broadband connectivity. However, the rapid penetration of broadband is also expected to fuel the growth in the industry; more so because most games are designed with broadband rather than dial up in mind. The number of internet subscribers has been increasing steadily and has grown steadily from 25,000 to 2.9 million in the period 1997- 2006.

Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak shared his views on the subject with me:

India has a Gaming mindset waiting to explode. With the fact that 54% of the Indian population is below the age group of 25yrs and having the world’s largest youth population – India’s only getting younger. Entertainment features as one of the predominant spending areas amongst the Indian consumers. Internet usage has seen an upward swing in the last few years and the way ahead looks more promising.

Alok Kejriwal, CEO, Games2Win

If I were to ask you – on what day and time of the week in India does online gaming activity ‘peak’? I would probably get an answer like – Saturday or Sunday, maybe late evening time. Yawn…yet another ignorant fool randomly answering, without a clue in the world about ground reality. Believe it or not, online gaming traffic from India peaks on MONDAY between 2-4 pm in the afternoon.

What’s going on? It’s not that difficult to understand. Millions of India’s digital jungles (a la offices) come alive on the first day of the week! Just blink and think of those thousands of BPO’s and IT parks and Service business offices coming back from a lunch and ‘gamertaming’ themselves before logging back into work.

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