Gaming hobbyists turn professionals

Publisher: THE HINDU, By VIJETHA S.N, October 11 2015, BENGALURU.

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The Indian gaming industry was pegged at Rs.1,920 crore in 2013 and is expected to reach Rs. 4,060 crore by 2018.

Once restricted to a very small number of children whose parents could afford gaming equipment, video games have come a long way, thanks to the Internet and mobile devices. The last few years have seen a doubling in the demand for these games, especially in the city with its young, technology-inclined population. Gaming cafes and video game developers are now more popular than ever before.

“The size of the Indian gaming industry was pegged at Rs.1,920 crore in 2013 and is expected to reach Rs. 4,060 crore by 2018. With ESports growing to become a revolution, it can offer a goldmine chance to turn simple hobbyists into professional competitors,” says Trupti Latur of Dumadu Games, a game development company that organised an international video game competition in the city.

Although the gaming scene is nowhere close to what it is internationally, the response to the gaming festival itself has been overwhelming.

Some gaming companies feel that although the market is growing, there is a dearth of platforms where more people can be initiated into the game. “We started GamingMonk to reach out to all those gamers sitting at home and playing. Though we did manage to reach to quite a few, we have been longing for a platform like the video game festival which brings all the gamers and potential gamers across the country and also showcases the change towards competitive console gaming,” says Abhay Sharma, co-founder, GamingMonk. Sometimes, digital renditions of real games are more popular when there are sporting events centred around the real game.

“We are bringing FIFA 16 (a football simulation video game) for our customers to get recharged much before the real game. Our unique offering is expected to pull more and more new buyers along with existing ones, and we are hopeful to see the number of game buyers rising,” says Rohit Dahda, who heads marketing division in G2A India, another game development company.

Gaming companies report that their customers fall within the age group of 12- 28 years. However, most companies say that parents of small children are another big draw. The last gaming festival, also held in Bengaluru, had a lot of small children dragging in their parents, who in turn got hooked onto the game. Also, parents do not have the usual hesitancy about safety unlike a physical game.