The third wave of Covid-19 in India will be less severe than the second and could peak anytime between October and November
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on every industry in the world, and gaming is no exception. As the world was sheltered in place, gaming boomed as people sought ways to occupy themselves while physical movement in particular was limited. The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented event in the highly competitive gaming industry.
Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, Founders, Loco believe that gaming will continue to see secular upwards revenue growth with lockdowns only accelerating the consumption of gaming and live-streaming, bringing them to the forefront of the consumer entertainment experience. Gaming and other at-home entertainment genres provide some relief and a chance to smile during these testing times, and we are really honored that we can serve this ecosystem through Loco to these passionate gamers. We expect a small % of users to continue to go from smartphones to PCs, but by and large, India will continue to be a mobile-first gaming nation with a large PC playing population by absolute numbers and small in terms of %. Users will certainly spend more time playing mobile games and spending time in virtual worlds as well as game streaming platforms, where they can share their metaverse experiences.
Third Wave and Revenue Growth Figures
Siddharth Kothari, Chief Investment Strategist at Om Kothari Group, Nazara speaks, “Although the thought of the third Covid wave does give us chills, the gaming industry is bound to benefit from increased engagement by users. If there are lockdowns imposed again, people often look for newer sources of entertainment to kill time. Hence there would be newer opportunities for mobile and computer gaming players to come up with some exciting platforms.”
Vamsi Chandra – Head of Product at OpenPlay Tech comments on the same, There was certainly a significant growth in revenue figures specially in India, during 2nd wave, but it is not comparable to 1st wave which can be considered as Golden era for Online Gaming Industry . We can say the same for 3rd wave as well, as we may expect a decent incline in figures, but may not be comparable with earlier growth rise we witnessed – Now as the life is moving on with record level vaccinations & much improved immunity – we may not expect people to stick back to their homes as longer as they were in earlier phases due to extended lockdowns (All in good sense J).
The Acquisition of Mobile Game Users in the Third Wave
Siddharth Kothari, Chief Investment Strategist at Om Kothari Group, Nazara believes that a lot of significant changes will happen in the near term as the last 1.5 years have already witnessed a revolution when it comes to acquiring users. Earlier, marketing budgets were inclined towards promotion in events, institutions etc. I still remember attending wrestling events while I was studying abroad, and I used to see so much promotions for games. But that has all changed over time. Now most acquisition tactics revolve around social media, in-app promotions, push notifications and even on OTT platforms. Now that’s one interesting shift, from traditional TV advertising to OTT. Moreover, localising the content based on varied demographics and geographies can help acquire more gamers. Lately, influencer marketing has been on the rise for brand promotions and advertisements. These strategies are very relevant even for the gaming industry, since the content is widely consumed by the youth, aged 12-30 yrs.
Demands of PCs and Mobile Game Advertising
Many gamers switched from smartphones to PCs for better gaming experience ever since the pandemic started resulting in huge demand for computers, Siddharth Kothari, Chief Investment Strategist at Om Kothari Group, Nazara adds on, Well if a large number of gamers have already bought computers, the third wave may witness a relatively lower growth rate in purchase of computers. Demand may certainly increase but at a lower rate than what was witnessed in the second wave.
Vamsi Chandra – Head of Product at OpenPlay Tech believes the Pandemic had severe impact on everybody’s life, and it certainly had changed the way people used to spend their time and money- a drastic shift happened particularly in the way they spent time on entertainment External Vs. Online, resulting in marketers to reframe their strategies on Marketing & advertising. A lot of gaming apps shifted their focus on Mobile Advertising & R&D – we saw games like Ludo King shifting gears and becoming the most played game during pandemic. But the 3rd wave – we may see the current advertising trend to continue as usual but the need of the hour isn’t another wave. We may expect have to think on the grounds socio-capitalistic advertising with responsible gaming.