@FF12: ‘Console gaming in India is in big trouble’

16 Mar,2012

By A Correspondent


Console gaming today has become only an urban phenomenon, in the small towns it is the mobiles which has become a primary source of entertainment. Women too in large numbers are exploring gaming and access to mobile gaming in India is expected to further increase. In a country like India, content needs to be contextually and culturally relevant. These were some of the points raised at the Day 2 session of FICCI Frames 2012 – ‘From East to West: The Next Big Thing in Gaming.’


This session was moderated by Mr Rajesh Rao, Founder and CEO, Dhruva Interactive. The panel members included, Mr Jithin Rao, Producer with Ubisoft; Mr Ray Sharma, Founder and CEO, XMG Studio Inc;  Mr Howard Donaldson, President, DigiBC; Mr Vishal Gondal, Founder and CEO IndiaGames; and Mr Ninad Chhaya, COO, Playcaso.


One of the heated topic during this session was the slow death of console gaming and how mobile gaming will play a dominant role. Unlike Mr Ray who strongly believed that the Console market was in deep trouble and that there is a massive value shift happening from console to mobile gaming, his co-panelists Mr Jithin Rao and Mr Howard Donaldson believed that console gaming was here to stay and could still play a dominant role in the Country. “I don’t see the console market going away, it may still have a dominant presence despite the ongoing digital revolution” said Mr Donaldson. Mr Rao of Ubisoft said, “I don’t see console gaming going away even in the next five years because there are still hard core gamers in India. In fact we believe that every platform has its own experience to share with the consumer whether it is big screen or small.”


Another interesting points raised during the session was the importance of mobile in the rapid growth of gaming in India. According to Mr Chhaya, “The change has been that phones are getting smarter. Consoles have become more of an urban phenomenon but, in smaller towns it is the mobile phones which have become major source of entertainment. The people in small towns are fast adapting to mobile internet. Internet on access through mobile is fast growing and the change which has come is that people have not only become more aware but, the fact that the apps system has also changed the entire environment. I would say for the better.”


Mr Gondal observed, “Even women are exploring gaming in a big way. We are expecting four to five million Indians accessing Internet from mobile and expecting atleast 50 per cent of them playing games. In a market like India, local IP will do much better that global. On the production values, consumers are looking at higher production values with the best of the breed of contents and I believe that the consumers will not settle for anything less.”


Mr Rajesh Rao summed up the session stating that while there are many ideas and lots of opportunities and potential in the market, the industry needs to explore them.


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