Online Gaming is the new Digital Rock Star

08 Apr,2019


By Indrani Sen


Indrani Sen

The digital gaming industry in India is currently undergoing rapid changes riding on the mobile revolution and fuelled by investment from big players such as Alibaba, Tencent, Youzu and Nazara. Many startup gaming developers are also lapping up the opportunities and providing the online gamers with new formats of online games and real-time experiences. Industry experts estimate that the number of online game developers has grown 10 times in last eight years from a mere 25 in 2010 to around 250 in 2018.


A decade back, the accessibility to playing online games was not easy as it required downloading and installation of games on consoles and desktop computers. The rising affordability and adoption of smartphone has become one of the important factors contributing to the rise in the number of gamers and success of the online gaming Industry. The new age gaming developers are experimenting with innovative gaming formats backed by blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. Action, adventure and puzzle are the popular gaming genres in India with fantasy sports rising at a fast rate supported by emergence of new sports leagues as well as promotion of traditional sports tournaments through online gaming.


As per the FICCI-EY 2019 report on Indian M&E Industry, the industry growth was from 2017 to 2018 was led by online gaming and digital media as shown in the following chart.


Source: FICCI EY ME Industry Report 2019


The report further predicts that online gaming will have the highest CAGR (35%) from 2018-2021 and along with the digital media (28%) and in three years both sectors will more than double their value in INR. While digital media is tipped off to overtake filmed entertainment 2019 and print in 2021, online gaming is already bigger than OOH, radio and music and will overtake live events in 2021 and is likely to overtake Animation and VFX by 2022 to rise to the fifth rank in terms of the share of the Indian ME industry pie.


Indian ME Industry Source: FICCI EY ME Industry Report 2019


This trend is going to have a far-reaching impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the digital media planning which is expected to ride largely on programmatic buying and planning. Many advertisers would like to try out the route of developing exclusive/ branded online games targeted at their audience profile. The Freemium business model, which is currently most commonly used model in the online gaming sector in India, will attract more support from advertisers. Digital Marketing and Media Agencies will explore more innovative ways of exploiting the scope of reach provided by online gaming. After mobile and social media, online gaming will develop as a distinct media channel in the next decade. Online gaming is going to be the new rock star of all online media from 2020.




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