Online gaming and gambling are two different activities that are often confused or considered together, due to their association with the internet, and the potential for financial transactions.
With the success of games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) allowing mobile players to play across platforms, there has been a rise in the online gaming community in India. Gone are the days when people had to connect various high-end, expensive consoles to their television sets to enjoy high quality games. With the advancement in mobile phone technology, people no longer need anything more than their smartphones to indulge in a round of gaming. This has become possible primarily due to the high quality gaming experience that mobile phones come with nowadays.
According to a recent report by Forbes, the number of game-developing companies in India has increased from 25 in 2010 to 250 in 2018. The report goes on to state that the mobile gaming industry alone is expected to be worth a staggering $1 billion by the year 2020. The online gaming industry in India is currently valued at around $890 million, and if this projection turns out to be true, it would be a remarkable achievement and a great step forward for the content creators of India. With the industry growing at such an exponential rate, many of these game developers will grow to provide a promising future to the Indian eSports Market.
A projection like this couldn’t have been predicted 5-10 years ago, especially since India never saw a horde in console and PC gaming. The gaming industry rose with mobile gaming in the past couple of years and the number is rising with each passing day.
This trend is not only seen in the RPGs or action games, but also in real money games on the internet. Real Money Games (RMG) are a growing part of the online gaming industry showcasing games like rummy, poker, daily fantasy sports and trivia quizzing, and are rapidly gaining popularity in India. This was bound to happen since the platform allows people to earn more than just game points. Real money is involved in it and there is real cash at stake. There is an equal chance of winning or losing money, hence the adrenalin is always pumping. A lot of players enjoy the additional kick that these games provide, which serves as another reason for the sudden rise in numbers.
In order to cater to these growing numbers, creators are working on increasing cross platform gaming (games that can be played on multiple platforms like mobile phones, consoles and desktops). This ensures that everyone is connected with the games even on the go. Online gaming platforms like PokerBaazi have developed a software which runs both on desktop and mobile phones, thus providing players with the opportunity to enjoy the game anywhere, anytime. Additionally, there is a high level of security involved in real money games and fantasy sports. This creates a safe and comfortable environment for the users to play and enjoy the game.
Some players spend hours on end playing these games, and there are many that play these games professionally. While many argue that online gaming leads to an unhealthy and somewhat lazy lifestyle, there are plenty who find refuge in these games, not to mention those who make a living through it. There are also a lot of ‘recreational players’, who indulge in such games to ease off the stress of a long day. Games such as poker and rummy are more challenging, and many individuals enjoy the test of skill and grit that comes along with it.
The sign is clear and out there for everyone- the online gaming industry is growing and will continue to grow. Mobile gaming will soon evolve across the world, and game developers will be forced to adapt in order to serve their users better. We can thus expect more out of the mobile gaming industry and be prepared what comes in the future.
(Navkiran Singh is Founder, Pokerbaazi)