Games have always been an important part of India, with us growing up on board games like ludo, snake and ladders, monopoly and the like. Festivals were dominated by card games like teen patti, poker and rummy. And no weekend was complete without a local match of cricket or GilliDanda. Yes, we could play all of these games over and over again and it still holds a special corner in our hearts.
What is common among these diversely different games is the concentration that’s required, hand eye coordination along with the usage of basic mathematical and analytical skills. With the digital innovation becoming a part of our lives, the nature and form of games have changed radically. Smartphones just like all other spheres of our life has revolutionized gaming bringing it to almost each and every handset and city.
How the growth started
The big numbers that are seen on both iOS and Android are primarily driven by mobile games. As per a recent report on Tune,there’re over 84% of smartphone users in India that play a minimum of 2-3 games on a regular basis on their phones. Another report of App Annie NASSCOM shows India in the top 5 countries for game downloads with the number expected to reach 5.3 Billion by 2020. If we say, who are the gamers behind these numbers, well 65% are males while 35% are females. The revenue that’s expected from the gaming sector is as high as $1.1 Billion by 2020.
The Indian Trends that Drive Gameplay
Casual and Strategic Games: The games that Indians love to play is quite different from our western counterparts. Role play is quite a rage in the west, but Indians prefer puzzles, races and casual games. There is another very popular segment of games that includes rummy game, cricket, and Bollywood themed games like Bahubaali the Game, Bajrangi Bhaijaan etc.
All of these games are played on a light note but needs one to plan your gameplay out with observation and analytical skills. Popular card games make you think through each and every move and it is with focus and practice you finally win it. Fun and intense all at the same time.
The tilt towards localized games: Even though the top grossing games of India are from international market, the audience still has a higher preference for localized content. The popular Indian rummy by RummyCircle saw 7 million download and installations, making it one of the most preferred games of India. Similarly, World Cricket Championship2 by NextWave Multimedia is also in the top 10 games of India, as per App Annie report.
Play to Win: Thereare countries where players, pay to win but in India it is all about play to win. The Indian gamer doesn’t mind paying for games, as long as he is getting something from it. Cash games do well in India, while games focusing on in app purchases struggle to succeed. People are open to spend on games, however they also want some kind of return from it. Strategy based games that focus on the skills of the players work successfully in this segment.
Infrastructure Restrains: Even though the penetration of smartphones has increased to a large level, the lower end phones are limited in its capacity when it comes to disk and memory space. Further, adding to the trouble is connectivity, making only 70% of downloads a success and pushing the uninstalls higher. Another factor is the lack of faith when it comes to downloading apps from third party constituting only 30% of the overall number of downloads.
Strategy and Digital Games
Strategy means you get smarter and better with the game as you go along. There is no chance element that can in any way state the outcome of the game. What makes these strategy games click for the Indian audience is the combination of challenge and the confidence to win. When we put this combination in freemium or paid game models, what we see is that audience like light challenges where they depend on their skill to move ahead.
Also, simple rules to play and not requiring too much of time, helps make the game popular among the masses. With smartphones becoming the rulers for the gaming sector, it is a given fact that audience prefer to play on the go and even with limited time on hand, they want maximum entertainment.
The gaming sector is growing rapidly, and it is just going to get bigger and more robust as we push forward. The minor glitches that are acting like road blocks need to be resolved, making the games reach the smaller cities with higher number of people carrying the low budget smartphones. Finally, it’s now the telecom and smartphones to up their game to get the maximum out of this gaming wave.