As the internet pervaded widely into nearly every nook and cranny of India, all the internet services and digital services have contributed to converting the domain into revenue-generating units and businesses. And the ‘attention economy’ is the segment that replicates this maturity better than the rest.
While this conversion was happening at a rather glacial pace till the late 2019, the behavioral and psychological changes set in by the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst. The major shift in the way people consumed content and the way in which they socialize online has acted as a catalyst for various attention economy domains, including online gaming.
E-sports in India
According to BARC & Nielsen, the mobile game usage has been rapidly grew with 60% in pre-Covid times to 68% during the time of national lockdown. Likewise, the time spent on these mobile games per user every week went from a hundred and fifty minutes before the lockdown to two hundred and twelve minutes during the lockdown. Moreover, E-Sports industry also shows the world that they have a huge potential especially in Indian market, prior to that the India has apt distribution of players as well as consumers.
The esports segment within e gaming has witnessed a considerable growth in India in the recent few years, and the credit for which goes to the proliferation of high-end and sophisticated smartphones at affordable and economical prices, as well as the gaining popularity of mobile games like PUBG Mobile, Clash of Legends, Free Fire, Call of Duty Mobile among bigger screens and console games such as DOTA2, Rocket League, CS: GO, Fortnite PUBG and the others.
Paired with deeper indulgence and longing for high-speed 4G internet connectivity and an increase in the number of online gamers, the esports market in India has all the prerequisites and the ingredients for growth and sustainability. This additionally has also brought in greater attention and interest from investors and venture capitalists in the pre-Covid phase, which is most likely to continue and sustain in the forthcoming year. The total revenue of esports companies and startups in India reached a whopping $68 million in FY2020, according to Inc42 Plus analysis of 34 companies, including Jetsynthesys, Esports, Nazara Technologies, Gamerji, and the others. Our recent report “Esports In India: Market Landscape Report, 2020″ looks into this growing landscape and describes clearly as to what exactly is driving and sustaining the revenue in this particular sector, which is believed to grow by CAGR 36% in the coming three years.
The increase in viewership has majorly contributed to the esports revenue so far, although the participation from the Indian players is also growing rapidly owing to the greater income potential, as we will observe. AS per a Frost & Sullivan Report 2018, the Indian esports audience is growing and evolving with only two million enthusiasts and a further two million occasional viewers in 2019, that is predicted to grow by over five times by the forthcoming year.
Viewing at the current market opportunity, even unicorn startups such as Hike and Paytm have doubled down on games. While Paytm released its Paytm First Games as a multi-game portal, Hike-backed WinZO has also been gaining rapid popularity and has raised huge amounts of funding in the past months.
“India goes on to be one of the most reliable and promising markets for esports in the world in terms of potential and size. Mobile gaming penetration has risen in the past few years, aggravated by affordable handsets and lesser data costs. In addition, further penetration of video streaming portals like Youtube and video-based social platforms like Tik Tok has further aided to propel the mobile esports friendly games into the mainstream,” Paytm First Games COO Sudhanshu Gupta uttered to Inc42 in May this year.
The most rational expectation is that esports gaming will continue to only grow in revenue, value and demand through sustained advancements and developments in content, technology, and most importantly in creating and generating more genres other than the popular battle royale format taken from FortnitePUBG, etc, and multiplayer battle arena games online such as League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Smite, and Dota 2 . The sector needs flexibility and diversification of genres in the future with games in role-playing games, simulation, adventure games, action arena games, strategy and sports genres are anticipated to take the limelight and the centre-stage as well.
Therefore, the key takeaway here being that bearing in mind the India’s logistics and the youthful population and vast and diverse audience, there exists a wide scope for the Esports in the Indian market that is unmatched elsewhere in other economies.
Provided there exists sustainable and increased growth and advancement in technology, strategies and creativity.