When the credits roll at the end of Far Cry 5, you might notice some familiar sounding names. The game’s creator is Ubisoft of France, the global gaming giant whose titles include Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Prince of Persia, Rayman, Raving Rabbids, and Tom Clancy’s. But the names you see are of people from Ubisoft India. That gives some indication of the recent evolution of India’s gaming industry.
Video games have become more complex and detailed as simulation capacity has increased over the years thanks to new generations of processors, each more powerful than its predecessor. “Games have become more and more realistic over the years and that is due to the increase in the capabilities of computer hardware,” says Ahmer Khan, one of the founders of MVP, which builds and sells customised personal computers for gaming and content creation located in Hyderabad.
“Gaming was considered a luxury for most of the time, this mentality is changing which is good news for Triple-A (games with highest development budgets and levels of promotion) developers,” adds Ahmer. Lack of local game developers also was a hurdle. “Due to a smaller number of game developers in India, the gaming industry moved at a slow pace for years,” says Rohit Dipankar, a software engineer from Cognizant. But the story is quite different today. According to Forbes magazine, India now has 250 game developers, a leap from just 10 in 2010.
According to an article on DAZEINFO, by end 2018, India is expected to have over 337 million smartphone users. Mobile gaming has expanded the gaming market by introducing a new business model to cater to a diverse consumer base. India is already the world’s fifth-biggest, mobile-gaming market and is expected to touch $1.1 billion in revenues by 2020, according to Tech Asia a technology news website.
“Mobiles are with us all the time and hence more accessible as a gaming console. Another plus point is mobile games are cheap,” says Kumar Alok, an engineering graduate in Delhi. Producing a mobile game is significantly cheaper than developing games for other gaming consoles. The mobility factor and affordable data prices have helped grow the mobile-gaming market. Many small mobile-game developer start-ups have been launched started in India in recent years given their lower manpower and capital requirements.
Triple-A game developers (games with highest development budgets and levels of promotion) are also focusing on India because of its large consumer base but also outsourcing their key components to Indian developers, Ubisoft India being a case in point. The professional rise of E-sports also has a major part in this change. Even educational institutions hold competitive gaming tournaments which financially rewards winners.
“There has been a significant rise in demands of gaming desktops,” says Ahmer. “More and more people are now investing in entertainment and gaming is slowly becoming a standard form of entertainment, especially amongst the youth.” Costs of gaming parts and consoles are still high as most of them are imported but with a growing market, they are becoming more affordable.
Streaming games on online platforms have also become quite popular. Many content creators stream games on their channels and earn based on number of views and subscribers they garner. Twitch, a game-streaming platform, have built a huge viewer base. “I like watching video-game streams as it helps in deciding which game suits my taste and in which I should put my money in,” says Kumar Arnab Harsh, a student of Delhi Public School in Patna and a Twitch user.
The gaming industry in India is clearly on a roll and the investment and employment it is generating is huge. “The masses need to realize that gaming is not restricted to only a certain age group. We need to get rid of this notion to make Indian gaming among the top markets in the world,” says Ahmer.
- Loves to read books and play video games. Also a science enthusiast with interest in astrophysics and astronomy.