Video gaming in India
Video games play a crucial role in the development of the market by attracting and retaining customers and, conversely, cybercafés contribute to the promotion of video games. Many companies encourage video gaming in India, such as MTV, Cypher and National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) centres.
In October 2005, Level Up! Games was the first to distribute a massively multiplayer online game in India with Ragnarok Online and was soon followed by others companies like Syfy with the game A3 . The latter are South Korean games whose content has been adapted in order to please the people of the country. However, these games were only modestly successful.
Like China and South Korea, India is experiencing strong growth in online gaming. With between 35-50 million internet users, the country is attracting interest from the online video game industry, which is difficult to hack.
With a turnover of $890 million in 2018, the video game sector is still underdeveloped compared to other Asian countries, such as China and South Korea. However, many video game companies are beginning to invest, and India could become an important market for this sector. To conducted by KPMG, the number of game development companies in India today stands at around 275. This number was a mere 25 in the year 2010.
Estimates suggest that India’s mobile games market will be worth $1.1 billion by 2020, and number of users projected to become 628 million by then.
One of the factors driving the growth of the video game market is its large number of cybercafés with more than 100,000 in 2006, 40% of which are used to play online.
Local Indian video game studios are yet to make a significant impact in the world market mostly relegated to mobile games that have development cycles of not more than 3-6 months. Video game studios are slowly sprouting up around India, most notably in Bangalore; which is often called the "Silicon Valley of India".
Many studios in India derive most of their income from outsourcing to foregin companies. Although there are a few studios working on their own titles most of the studios are mobile based. There are a few studios working on larger projects on PC and console like Bangalore based Tentworks Interactive.
The founder of Route Mobile Rajdip Gupta is planning his eSports venture – COBX Gaming – that will invest $10 million to promote eSports in India. COBX will launch an online domestic league, and an international league besides building an Indian team for international eSports championships.
The Indian gaming market is very varied. While there are a section of hardcore gamers, there are still many gamers playing cartridge games on TV and handheld devices. This has led to the proliferation of pirated, second hand and knock-offs to meet the needs of a diverse range of consumers with different access to money and information.
With a piracy rate of software and consoles of over 80% and a penetration rate of PC still low, India's video game market has long lagged behind the rest of world, publishers and distributors of video games struggling to find their place.
This delay is also explained by the fact that the country has traditionally never had a real culture of gaming. However, this situation is changing due to the increase in the average income of Indians and the increasing interest in internet and entertainment.
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