Gaming is becoming increasingly popular in India. It is finally being taken seriously and seen as a career option. The esports community has been thriving globally for a decade and now in the last 3-4 years, it has rapidly been growing in India as well, said the Co-founder of Orangutan Gaming, Yash Bhanushali in a conversation with BW Gaming World. Edited experts:
Q. How is Orangutan Gaming empowering the Indian gaming community?
Ans- Gaming is becoming increasingly popular in India. It is finally being taken seriously and seen as a career option. The esports community has been thriving globally for a decade and now in the last 3-4 years, it has rapidly been growing in India as well. We at Orangutan Gaming want to empower and breed such dedicated individuals for a future in this sector, as well as educate the Indian society, since esports is still in its adolescence stage in India, with only a small proportion of the population aware of its true potential.
We are building an esports training facility to empower such esports athletes by providing a platform for them to engage, learn, explore and grow their careers in this industry. This training facility will assist all of the athletes, regardless of their backgrounds, help them flourish as individuals and as a team. To represent the country at an international level, they need the finest in class technology as well as a place to strategise and review their performance. We’re also using social media to spread knowledge and raise awareness about the industry and help recognise hidden esports talent in the country.
Q.What according to you are the major changes that you witnessed in the gaming industry before and after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ans- Before the epidemic, most people were going about their daily lives, but that all changed when the pandemic struck. Because of remote working and online classes, everyone had more time to play mobile games, resulting in a significant rise in data consumption. While this began in a casual manner for virtually everyone to get through the day, many people continued to improvise while playing games, bringing them to the attention of numerous esports organisations. The sheer number of esports athletes over the last two years has drastically increased. Suddenly, the public’s perception of gaming and esports shifted, and the severity of the matter was acknowledged. Parents decided to offer their children the opportunity to play and build a profession out of these games after seeing how well they were doing.
Q. How have the technology and heightened internet penetration helped revolutionize the gaming sector in India?
Ans- Technology has always played a significant role in the gaming business, but with the pandemic that struck in 2019, the increase of in data consumption has eclipsed all-time highs in recent years. The blockade pushed Indian gen z’s to turn to online learning, resulting in increased internet usage and purchases of gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and computers. Our participants are all from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, demonstrating how the internet has aided in providing them with a platform to play their games and learn about this sector. As few battle royale games on the phone can be played on devices that aren’t fancy or have high-end features, India is one of the leaders in mobile gaming, as mobile devices are comparatively cheaper to other PC gaming setups and easily accessible to individuals from all economic backgrounds, boosting the participation and involvement of new esports athletes.
Q. Do you think people can consider gaming as a full-time profession?
Ans- Definitely. It is, in fact, a full-time job that many young people have taken up in other nations. In India, esports is only now beginning to gain traction and acceptance. Parents, unlike in the past, have begun to accept the concept of their children becoming esports professional athletes. Many families have realised that playing games is no longer only a waste of time as a result of the industry’s expansion and gaining an understanding of the financial side of it. The announcement that Esports would be included as an athletic event in the 2022 Asian Games has made it evident that mobile games are more than just a simple game; they are a true athletic activity with global acceptance.
Q. Do you think India has enough game developing institutes? If not, what should we do?
Ans- No, there aren’t many. It’s partly because this profession has just recently begun to gain traction. With the changing circumstances, there will undoubtedly be more game development institutes, which will undoubtedly be a revolutionary event in our country.
And what we need to do is, start looking at esports as a career option that requires as much training, discipline and hard work as any other traditional sport. Yes, for esports athletes their training grounds are digital but these also require immense mental agility, hand-eye coordination and strategy development. The esports community in India is slowly growing and getting more eyeballs and the only way to ensure that it keeps growing is by cultivating an environment that allows more esports players to hone their skills.
Q. What can we expect from Orangutan Gaming in future?
Ans- We presently have two esports teams at Orangutan: BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India) and FreeFire. By the end of 2022, we want to have teams in five games, three mobile games and two PC games. We are also working on two other verticals- talent management and apparel. With talent management, we are looking to onboard new and diverse talent and we will also be launching our own line of streetwear apparel.