So what games do Indians play? Actually, not many [especially in the online world] According to IAMAI’s research, the size of online gaming market in India stands at a minuscule number of Rs. 21 crore [11% for advertising, 31% subscriptions and 58% for cafes]!
- Consumer Pull: Increasing size of youth segment,increased broadband penetration,increase in mobile gamers etc
- Game development activities by market incumbents: localized games, organized cyber cafes etc.
Currently, the issues concerning the online gaming market in India are:
- Prevalence of anti-gaming culture: Remember IITs banned Internet at late hours in the student hostels?
- Low user adoption
- Poor infrastructure/PC penetration
So, what’s the way out?
- 11-click phenomena: Site design & navigation will play a key role [according to a leading international publisher, when it takes a user more than 11 clicks to download and play a game online, it is very unlikely that the user will return to that site.]
- Localization of content: Why should one visit an Indian site to play ‘Tomb Raider’? I would rather play ‘chacha chaudhary/saabu’
- Demonstrating advertiser value
- Developing & Managing online communities
And the top 5 to-dos are:
- Feeding the hen that lays the golden eggs – i.e. share revenue with casual game devepers/studios.
- Gaming for education: Increase the adoption by incorporating games/multimedia in school syllabus.
- Go deep down the bottom of pyramid too: There is a need to recognize the opportunity that lies in the small towns & in rural India subsequently.
- Keep it simple: Localization of content has started happening with the aim of appealing to a wider audience and games based on local themes like snakes and ladders, gulli-danda, etc. are being developed. However the aim should also be to bring simplicity in the games that are being developed. 3-D and graphics heavy games would appeal to a very small section of the Indian market. International experience suggests that games with simple themes often get a larger user base.
- Mobile Users– Potential online gamers: Mobile involved gamers have the highest probability to be become active online gamers. They would shift to PC based online gaming for an enhanced gaming experience.
To summarize: the Indian online gaming market is in a flux and most are willing to experiment with various options to grow their user base & maximize revenue accruals.
Download the report [pdf].
If you are an online gamer, I would love to talk to you and get your insights on the ‘games people play’. Feel free to email me