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Top Trend India’s Gaming Ecosystem

By Ashwin Haryani

The Indian gaming market is expected to rapidly grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 per cent to reach $8.6 billion by 2027. Many people have enjoyed playing sports and adventure games in the comfort of their own homes since the early days of video games, though not to the same extent as we can now. Owing to the availability of online gaming, players can now take part in events with opponents worldwide that go beyond solitary or couch gaming.

The $90 billion global video game industry is often one of the first places most people get to witness many of the tech trends that are affecting our lives in action. This holds true for blockchain, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and, most notably, the metaverse, the newest buzzword in technology. 

Technological Advancements Bolstering Gaming Communities

India is a predominantly mobile-first nation, with smartphone penetration exceeding 75 per cent. This has ignited a mobile gaming boom, attracting millions of new players to games such as PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, and Clash Royale and all of this will see major growth in 2024. Mobile gaming is further poised to explode with 5G, promising lower latency and a smoother gaming experience.  5G is poised to transform India’s gaming industry by providing faster speeds, lower latency, and increased bandwidth. This will enable mobile gamers to enjoy seamless gameplay, make cloud gaming more accessible, enable esports to become more competitive and facilitate the emergence of new gaming experiences. Overall, 5G will make gaming more popular, accessible, and competitive, shaping the future of the sector in India. 

Empowered by the surge of streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube Gaming, a new wave of gaming content creators has emerged. These passionate individuals captivate audiences with their masterful gameplay, insightful tutorials, and electrifying commentary on esports events. With over 65.4 million esports viewers in India in 2023, this thriving ecosystem has ignited the passion of aspiring esports athletes and fostered a vibrant community of viewers. Complementing this burgeoning industry, dedicated esports infrastructure is rapidly expanding across India. These havens for esports enthusiasts, equipped with cutting-edge gaming PCs, advanced peripherals, and a competitive atmosphere, provide aspiring athletes with the ideal environment to hone their skills, compete in tournaments, and pursue their dreams of becoming professional gamers. With a projected 29.1 million Twitch users in India in 2024, these facilities are transforming esports from a mere pastime into a professional pursuit, driven by the unwavering dedication of gamers and the support of a rapidly expanding community.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are revolutionising the gaming experience. VR immerses players in fully digital environments, offering unparalleled levels of realism and engagement. AR overlays virtual elements onto the real world, opening up a world of possibilities for gaming. In 2024, VR and AR gaming will take a significant step forward with the launch of highly anticipated titles like Attack on Titan VR: Unbreakable, Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR, and the location-based AR game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. These games are set to redefine the gaming landscape, offering unprecedented levels of immersion and interaction with the virtual world. With the continuous development of VR and AR technologies, we can expect even more innovative and groundbreaking games to emerge, further blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy and redefining the gaming experience. 

The Rise Of Esports

The meteoric rise of esports has created an unprecedented demand for skilled esports managers. These versatile professionals play a crucial role in the success of esports teams, overseeing a wide range of responsibilities that encompass team management, sponsorship acquisition, event organisation, player development, and strategic planning. Their expertise in managing talent, negotiating deals, and navigating the complexities of the esports industry is essential for ensuring the smooth operation and competitive edge of esports teams. As esports continues to gain mainstream recognition and attract substantial investments, the demand for experienced esports managers is expected to skyrocket. This surge in demand opens many promising career opportunities for individuals with a passion for gaming, business acumen, and a strong understanding of the esports ecosystem, enabling them to play a significant role in shaping the future of this dynamic and rapidly evolving industry.

Original esports IPs such as Valorant Convergence and Battlegrounds Mobile India are gaining traction among Indian gamers, offering India-centric themes and narratives that foster a sense of national pride and drive the industry’s growth. Simultaneously, initiatives such as College Rivals, an intercollegiate tournament across major cities by Ampverse, are nurturing a new generation of esports athletes. Such events in 2024 will boast thousands of participants, contributing to the emergence of new IPs while providing a platform for collegiate competition and mentorship. 

These initiatives are vital in helping esports talent thrive and achieve long-term success. The convergence of these trends indicates an exciting future for India’s gaming and esports landscape, with a burgeoning player base, evolving technologies, and diverse career opportunities paving the way for a magnificent revolution.

(The author is the Country Head — India, Ampverse, an ecosystem of gaming community and IPs)

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