The gaming industry has witnessed a noticeable growth both globally and within India, but if it further continues to innovate, console gaming will soon catch up with the mobile market to become the mainstream form of entertainment
Over the last few decades, the games industry has witnessed noticeable growth globally as well as directly within India. Even more recently, during the last 18 months, gaming has seen a sudden surge of interest and continues to grow exponentially. Safety restrictions have contributed to people spending much more time at home with limited means of entertainment, driving a large new audience to develop an interest in gaming as a hobby. According to a report released by KPMG in 2021, India accounted for approximately 17% of the total mobile game downloads globally, the 2nd highest in the world. The report further states how the industry is expected to show even further fast-paced growth in the future, having attracted 544 million USD worth of investment from August 2020 to January 2021.
Challenges faced by the games industry
While the growth and acceptance rate of gaming culture is soaring in India, one major aspect of the industry remains untapped in the national market; console gaming. Games consoles have seen a rise in popularity across the world and are in high demand in territories such as the US, Europe and the UK. However, the sales and demand for games consoles in India remain noticeably lower, with mobile games coming out on top in terms of popularity. Ease of access for mobile gaming is a big contributing factor, with recent improvements to internet quality and being able to play on the go adding to the convenience for players. On the other hand, people interested in taking up console gaming as a hobby have recently faced stock issues and a much higher cost to entry.
Ways to bring consoles to the forefront of gaming in India
India is a huge market with a growing appetite for gaming. Thus, there is a need to improve the services. Below we have compiled a list of some ways that can help to promote console gaming in India –
Gamers have long been looking forward to the creation of an ecosystem that allows them to play games across console, PC, and mobile. The goal is to be able to play anywhere as per the comfort of the player, without having to make multiple payments for the same title multiple times. We’ve already seen initiatives that explore how this can work effectively and it’s an exciting time to be a part of the games industry, as we work together as a collective to support making games available to as many players as possible.
Advertising Console Games Through Mainstream Media
Advertising through mainstream media is a tried and tested way of establishing strong market control. We’ve seen branding and promotion within mainstream media marketing provide a boom to several industries including Bollywood and there is an opportunity for further market support. Traditional and contemporary advertising practices could help to garner attention towards what the games industry has to offer whilst bringing in a new pool of customers who may not have previously been aware of console gaming.
The games industry has used mainstream marketing to establish a strong base in the Western market successfully and there is a huge opportunity to take the same approach in India. Through strategic advertising, new players can be reached.
Cloud Gaming and Subscription Services
Subscription services hold the potential to further drive interest in console gaming, not just in India but across the world. Services such as Xbox Game Pass and PS Now have been revolutionary introductions for the games industry, offering a totally new way for players to engage with both the latest releases and all-time classics. At the charge of a monthly payment, players gain access to hundreds of games that can be played and downloaded in an instant. Further advances in technology such as ‘Xcloud’, allow players to go one step further and stream various Xbox games remotely to their console or mobile phone. Such options have gained immense popularity already and help to remove barriers to entry for all players.
To gain popularity within any market, there is a requirement for innovation and improvement. Console gaming has already seen huge advancements in technology and a wide range of improvements to accessibility which in turn have seen interest within the Indian market continue to rise, albeit slower than in the West. If the games industry continues to innovate to meet the needs, interests, and affordability of the Indian customer base, console gaming will soon catch up with the mobile market to become a mainstream form of entertainment. Here at Sumo Pune, as a development studio with over 15 years of experience creating console games, we’ve had the pleasure of working on some of the biggest and best AAA video games in the world. With the continued rise in popularity, we look forward to welcoming even more talented individuals to join us on our journey.
The Author is Stewart Neal, Studio Director for Sumo Pune, a Sumo Digital studio.