The gaming and Esports sector in India is witnessing growth and has been proliferating at a good pace. With the easy availability and accessibility of the internet, the online gaming industry is flourishing. The concept is quite recognized and famous now, especially in the millennial and gen Z generation.
While the Esports industry is still at a nascent stage, its popularity has been on a steady boost over the years. Esports has been taking its own sweet time to build its foundation among the Indian gaming community. The COVID-19 pandemic might just have acted as a catalyst for the sudden growth in its popularity.
With the entry of popular games like FIFA, PES, PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, Free Fire and Valorant in the Indian Esports phenomenon, the community has seen a substantial boost in revenue and workforce. According to Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder of WinZo,
"Esports is the next big thing and India is warming up to it gradually. Esports players have longer session durations and deeper engagement."
Esports as an industry can have limitless heights and scopes in India. According to the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming, Esports will see rapid growth in the country and reach a cumulative revenue of up to Rs 11,900 crore.
Growth of Esports and its current state in the global platform
Online streaming platforms such as Youtube and Twitch have played a vital role in promoting Esports in the Indian market as a major sporting event. Various multiplayer online games like FIFA, PUBG Mobile, Dota2, Hearthstone, Call of Duty (both mobile and PC), Valorant and Apex Legends have led the video gaming market to reach a new height in the past couple of years.
The community in India is not even a decade old and has shot up in the past few years, with more developers and investors jumping into the sector. The most common Esports genres in the country are Sports games, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), First Person Shooter (FPS), Card games, and Real-time Strategy (RTS). The Count of online gamers in India also grew by 31 percent in 2019 and reached around 365 million. As per the FCCI-EY report on media and entertainment, the reach is expected to cross the 440 million mark. With a huge influx of investment from multiple brands around the globe industries, India's Esports segment is bound to grow exponentially over the next few years.
India entered the EA Sports FIFA Global Series
EA Sports recently declared openly India's entry into the FIFA Global series for the first time in its 2021 version. The franchise's official statement said,
"We're very excited to welcome Bolivia, Costa Rica, and India to the EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series! With the addition of India, we're changing the name of the Middle East & Africa region to West Asia & South Africa, which India will join, and moving a few of the countries that have traditionally played in that region elsewhere."
The news took Indian gamers to social media, expressing their happiness at the long-awaited inclusion in the Esports event. The Global Series is a competition organized by FIFA developers to find out the world's best virtual footballers. The event has been the perfect platform for aspiring E-footballers to showcase their talents and skills. With FIFA 21 opening the doors for gamers, the Esports industry in India stands to gain.
Live streaming and increase viewership
Gaming and Esports will imbibe live streaming and this will fuel the rise in viewership. Streaming of the gaming content in real-time coupled with regional streaming will help gather more attraction and in building a strong, extensive and diverse audience base.
Populated by the young generation, the gaming sector offers a fun and frolic experience. Thereby it will increase preference and viewership by them. India is home to the finest youth and connected population despite existing in various demographic zones. Hence, it is one of the thriving markets for esports and online gaming owing to its entertainment and tech-savvy features.
Financial growth and non-endemic brand collaborations
The gaming industry will witness sponsorship from non-endemic brands as well. Despite not being directly connected to esports, they will be inclined towards such collaborations as these associations will help in their entrance into the esports category. They will also help the community to gather attraction and visibility. With the brands running paid ads on recognized esports platforms, promoting products and services via in-game plugin promotions, band integrations, sponsorships and audience engagement in a live environment.
Being a new entrant, the sector will have opportunities in terms of creativity along with the liberty to the brands. They will be able to express their message in a storytelling format but with a unique twist via esports and the gaming sector. Additionally, the esports industry had gathered a lot of attention from various angel investors and venture capitalists. It will continue to receive financial support from investors and sponsors. Soon monetization of esports will be at its prime.
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