Gaming Industry is one of the fastest growing industries with revenue of multi-billion dollars every year. The global gaming industry is evolving with the introduction of new technologies and access to various facilities. This growth impacts the Indian Media market too. As new technologies are getting introduced in the Indian market, more and more people join the gamers’ world, as casual gamers or as hardcore gamers.
This increase in number of gamers is also attributed to the availability of fast Internet bandwidth, good mobile phones and access to Free-to-Play (F2P) games. Because of rapid increase in the number of gamers, making the industry highly potential, console leaders like Sony, and, Microsoft target the Indian Market.
The growing industry leads to more job opportunities and many entrepreneurs emerging every year with lots of creative ideas and market opportunities to make games. The Indie games are welcomed in the market with lots of expectations that the gameplay and game aesthetics are not compromised for commercial purpose.
Growth in Game IndustryCompared to other developed countries, the game industry is still young in India. Awareness about the industry is limited to urban areas. But the mobile phones take the games to rural areas and create casual gamers population. The mobile games like Angry Birds, Subway Surfers, Temple Run, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Teen Patti, have highest business potentials. The popularity of console games is comparatively lesser than the other platforms. The market for console games is next to mobile, PC, and online gaming. The console gamers are less in numbers as the cost of the consoles is higher. But the number is growing as the console leaders have started targeting the Indian Gamers. The launch of latest consoles like PS4, XBox One is triggering the growth of console market. A series of new reports from DFC Intelligence, forecasts that the global market for video games is expected to grow from $67 billion in 2012 to $82 billion in 2017. This forecast includes revenue from dedicated console hardware and software (both physical and online), dedicated portable hardware and software, PC games and games for mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, music players and other devices that can enable users to play games as a secondary feature. Mobvista International Technology Ltd, a global mobile advertising and game publishing company, plans to increase its investment in India by US$ 100 million over 2015-18, with a view to capture a bigger share of the booming e-commerce and ad-tech space. The growing investments with the understanding of the potential market, indie gamers’ startup companies with right mentoring, increase in gaming crowd, availability of game professionals, right usage of the monetization techniques and the introduction of new technologies lead to enormous growth in the Gaming field.
How the Game Industry Evolved?Games are not new to people. When there were no TV, Internet or any current technologies, people were entertained and engaged in board games like Vaikuntapali, Pachisi, Chaturanga, Chaupar, Ashtapada, Ganjifa, Goats and Tigers, and Mancala; and physical sports like Satoliya, Gutte, Kancha, Gilli Danda, Dhopkel and Hopscotch. They used games and sports to learn strategies, counting and religion, and to develop skills like concentration, team building, hand-eye coordination, leadership, strength and power. The video game industry started evolving with the introduction of the arcade game of Tic-Tac-Toe in the 1950s. In the 1960s and 1970s, the digital games were made by programmers and technicians in laboratories and research institutes as part of research and experiments and also as hobbies and pet projects. The games like Pong and Odyssey kick started a whole new sector in world. From there, there is a huge evolution in graphics, platforms, players’ attitude, storytelling, marketing, monetization and so on. Currently, with the introduction of Sony’s PlayStation 4, Nintendo’s Wii U and Microsoft’s XBox One, the gaming experience has gone to the next level. The console games are facing strong competition from Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Smartphones, Tablets, Smart TVs and Internet games. There are games being developed for Smart watches too. The game controllers of consoles that are enhanced with motion sensors make the player engage in the game effectively. And this player immersion gives a strong advantage to the consoles compared to any other platform. The new technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, Internet of things, cloud-based services and cross-platform devices; and new trends like 360 degrees play, players creating their own games, rise of mobile games among hardcore gamers, rise of silver gamers (gamers in later stage of life) and evolution of crowd funding, strongly marks the hold of game industry and its scope of market growth. Also, now there are many ways to avail funds for the game making. In the Kickstarter, a public-benefit corporation, a developer can pitch his/her game and go for crowd funding. And in Game Developers’ Conferences/Meets, a game can be pitched to attract investors. This blurs the line between the maker and the marketer and the buyer.The digital distribution of games is one of the trendsetters in the game industry, in which game can be directly purchased and/or downloaded from online stores, instead of buying DVDs. Even there is a facility of direct to customer download.
Game Platforms in India
Mobile Phones & Tablets: The mobile OS developers like Apple, Google and Microsoft, launch digital download stores to distribute games as Free-to-Play (F2P), Freemium, or Pay-to-Play (P2P) games. These are popular game platforms among the public because of the availability of mobile phones and tablets for lesser costs, good bandwidth, and the multitasking of the devices. The popularity of the mobile games is majorly due to the F2P games which require the player to download the games from the stores for free.Personal Computer (PC): This platform is quite famous from the beginning of the video game industry. A few years ago, most of the games were sold via Compact Discs (CDs) and Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) for PC. Piracy in PC gaming through retail is so much, which leads to the loss for big studios. With the advent of digital distribution, the concern of piracy has been brought down. The digital distribution like Kongregate and Steam helps to avoid this scenario.Consoles: This is one of the growing markets, next to mobile gaming. The console market targets the hardcore gamers who want to experience the game, rather than just playing it. The advanced features and affordable price of the consoles like XBox One and PS4 kindled good market for the consoles among the gaming world, which leads to wide opportunity for the game developers. Now, with the availability of the video, sports, and music streaming services, the console market is climbing up the scale.Online Games: Because of the increase in the number of Internet users and the opportunity to play multiplayer games in massive level, the online games are still popular, even with the growth of other platforms. The Social Networking Games, the Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) are very popular among youngsters and it became a social status to be part of a game clan. Virtual Reality (VR): VR is a computer-simulated world where you feel that you are physically present in that virtual world. This is immersive gaming. HTC Vive, Playstation VR, Oculus Rift are some of the head mounted display system to simulate virtual reality. This is one of the growing technologies in the gaming industry and there are many companies that has started to make games for VR; and this will see a massive growth in 2017, 2018. Augmented Reality (AR): AR is the view of the real-world environment, which is augmented / supplemented with CG graphics, audio, video, GPS data and so on. This allows the player to experience a digital game/character/artifact in a real world. The near-reality technologies bring the virtual world closer to us and break the walls that divided us from our games or films or any visualizations.
Technologies and Trends Ruling the Industry
There are many technologies getting introduced in the market to give whole new gaming experience, be it immersive gaming like virtual reality and augmented reality or be it 3600 Play involving various platforms including the physical world. The new technologies ease the process of buying and selling of/in games, enhance the player experience, and push the purpose of games from mere entertainment to a learning tool.Distribution of Video Games: The video games, which were distributed only through floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, are now being distributed through online also. Online distribution of games is the downloading of games from online distribution stores like Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, iTunes App Store and PSN. This is getting promoted majorly to avoid piracy in PC gaming and to gain momentum with the increase in the Internet bandwidth.Cloud Gaming: This is also called ‘Gaming on Demand’, using which a high-end game can be streamed in a player’s computer, irrespective of whether the PC is of low configuration or of high configuration supporting best graphics and gameplay. Here, the job of the player’s device is to just to stream the game and run the game, and not perform any heavy processing, which will be done in the Cloud, a server on the Internet.Gamification, Serious Games, and Simulations: Gamification is about using game elements in a non-game industry like education, health, training and advertisement, to engage and encourage the players to do any mundane work. Serious Games, like Flight Simulator, Surgery simulator, Educations games, Exercise games and Advertisement games are games which have the purpose of training/learning rather than fun. Now, game concepts are getting into almost all the fields as they engage/encourage/train the players in an effective way to complete a task effectively.
Game Competitions, Game Meets and Game Conferences: There are many competitions globally and locally being conducted to attract more and more people in game making. The conferences are being conducted to bring confluence of people from various stages of game making. These competitions and conferences blur the line among game developers, investors, publishers, and students. Few of the famous competitions and conferences conducted globally are as follows. • Dare to be Digital, one of the famous game competitions, invites students and newly graduates all over the world to participate. And they support the participants to develop their game, once their game is shortlisted. Three shortlisted games of Dare to be Digital will be nominated for BAFTA Ones to Watch Award.• Build Your Own Game (BYOG), an initialization by Nasscom, invites both Students and Indie game developers to participate in the competition.
• Nasscom Game Developer Conference (NGDC), conducted by NASSCOM, is one of the biggest and most influential converging points of game developers, investors, publishers, and students. There are many other competitions like GameHack for Indie Game Developers that encourage indie gamers to be successful entrepreneurs.
Career in Game Industry
As there is huge growth in the Indian Game industry, the game production companies require lots of professionals to produce quality games. The game industry in India is still young and there are a lot of opportunities for game developers to rule it. You can be a Game Designer and design a game, or you can be a Game Programmer and code for the game. You can be a Game Producer or you can be an Application Developer. There are many other job roles where you can fit based on your special skills. Some of the job roles are as follows.Mobile / Tablet Application Developer: Nowadays, every small organization, products, and services have applications (mobile apps) in mobile phones/tablets. There are games, Web browsers, calendar, maps, music and this list goes on and on. To develop mobile applications, which includes games, Artists, Programmers and Designers are needed.Game Designer: The Game Designers design the story, game elements, gameplay and mechanics, and game aesthetics. They design what the player sees, feels and plays. There are designers from various disciplines work together to design an entire game and give the user an interesting experience.
Game Programmer: The Game Programmers make the game to run and they facilitate the player to interact with the game. There are different kinds of programmers in the game industry like AI Programmers, UI Programmers and Network Programmers.
Game Artist: The Game Artists develop assets like concept arts, sprites, textures, background, models, animations and game world objects for the game.
Others: Other than the Designers, Programmers and Artists, there are set of people who work for the QA, Maintenance, Business and Marketing and make the game production a smooth sail.
The gaming industry is growing at a massive level, and the country is gearing up to match the growth. There are many plans and policies by the Indian government devised to support the new ventures in the game market. The crowd funding made the investment for the game making more convenient, the video sharing websites made the games more popular, free games made the game crowd increase in number, and thus the game industry is in the growth path with a bright future.