Back in the 1970s, little did the creators of Pong realise that their 8-bit wonder would spark off a revolution; one which continues to blaze stronger with every new year. Even though the industry suffered a major depression in its early years, it survived and rose reinvigorated like a phoenix from its ashes. According to Newzoo, a research firm, in 2016 alone, the Video Game Industry which generated a whopping $99.6 billion revenue and this giant is expected to grow at a rate of 6.6% over the coming years. However, the market is not the only thing ‘broken’ by video games, it is also changing the patterns of modern entertainment. With millions dabbling with video games as leisure activities as well as the rise of eSports in the recent years, video games is definitely changing the outlook of the global society.
When compared to the rest of the world, many may believe that India is lagging behind when it comes to video games but in actuality, it is just like how Def Leppard song goes – we are only ‘Two Steps Behind’. The Indian video game industry is in its nascent stages, but it is definitely learning from the mistakes of its international brethren. With the more than 65% of its population clocking between the ages of 25 to 35, India has the world’s largest youth population. The recent years have seen a precedent rise in Internet connectivity and usage, thereby turning the country into the second largest Internet user globally. In fact, these are the two crucial factors for any video game to take off, and thus we can say that India has arrived at the right time. To add on these factors, India also has a large skill pool to offer in the fields of IT, Game Testing, Arts and Designing as well as the presence of several major game developers such as Zynga, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nvidia, Sony, to list a few.
Previously, considered as a bootless errand, the negative notions surrounding video games is steadily disappearing in India. Nowadays, be it the dada and dadis playing Candy Crush on their battered smartphone in the local metro or maybe those kids next door who play GTA V on their state-ofthe-art gaming rigs, everyone has embraced the gaming revolution. NASSCOM, a leading IT analyst in the country, stated in a report that India is home to over 70 million gamers spread across the mobile, console and PC platforms. The Indian gaming market has caught the attention of several international brands. Leading gaming peripheral manufacturers and service providers such as ASUS, HyperX, Sony, Twitch.tv, Microsoft amongst many others have witnessed a stark increase in the sales and viewership over the past few years. These international leaders have also played a major role in brewing the Indian gaming market by sponsoring many local tournaments and events.
Similarly, many organisations who focus on the gaming market exclusively, have cropped up in the recent years and these companies are doing a tremendous job in bringing the global gaming experience to India. NODWIN Gaming is an exemplary example, it is a pioneer in this niche market and has conducted several successful events and tournaments such as Mountain Dew Arena, ESL India Premiership, Taiwan Excellence, to name a few. Novaplay is another such company which focuses on merchandising and community building. Recently, Novaplay has struck a partnership with Valve and eased out the complicated payment process on the Steam platform. Now one can purchase games using Net-banking, Online Wallets and even Cash on Delivery.
Case in point, 2016 alone has been a glorious year for Indian eSports, if not for Indian video gaming as a whole. Over the course of last year, numerous tournaments had taken place across the country and prize money totalling INR 75 Lacs was distributed. It may come as a surprise, but many brave youngsters have chosen to pursue this line of profession and to help them many Indian eSport organisations have introduced contract systems to ease out the risk factor. The biggest and largest eSport event to take place in the country in 2016 was the ESL India Premiership. This event was conducted by ESL, which is a global brand in the field of eSports in partnership with NODWIN Gaming. This tournament was a-first-of-its kind and it ran for an astounding 9 months and contained a massive prize pool of INR 42 Lacs. Keeping up with the times as well as catering to the needs of a young, vibrant country, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has taken note of this sector. Historically, CII has been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of crucial market policies and innovation, which in turn contribute to the greater well-being of the country. Making good on its 2016-17 initiative of ‘Building National Competitiveness, CII has announced the Indian Gaming Show 2017. This event, a one-of-its-kind in India, will take place from February 2 to 5 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. This 4-day expo will cover the A-Z of the video game industry as well as explore the new emerging trends such as eSports, cosplay and VR.
Supported by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, the event will act as a platform and will host video game delegations from several countries. Leading this foray shall be Japan who is also the lead partner for this event. The Republic of Korea will be an honoured guest, but also lending its expertise in this field are the delegations arriving from USA, UK, Poland, Germany amongst many others.
The Indian Gaming Show 2017 kicks off next month and will contain a host of exciting activities. Exhibitions, merchandises, video game showcases and conferences will all take place under one roof in the heart of India’s capital. This convention also serves as a perfect avenue for both the exchanging of ideas as well as B2B meetings. The Indian gaming community also gets an excellent opportunity to experience the gaming cultures of the different attending countries.
As the lead partner of the event, Japan is bringing along a whole host of activities which are aimed to invigorate the Indian gaming scene. Leading Japanese developers such as SEGA, Konami, Square Enix, Namco will provide visitors with a unique insight into the latest of what each developer has to offer. This will definitely prove to be an indispensable resource for Indian game developers. Also on showcase shall be various innovative technologies such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. The visiting crowd will be treated to various performances ranging from anime, music, TV media and cosplay that are sourced from Japanese pop culture.
For eSport fans, an exhibition tournament will be held over the 4 days and DOTA 2, CS:GO, Clash Royale, are some of the many games which will be played at this event. Known names in Indian eSports such as Entity Esports, Brutality, are going to make their presence felt. Fans will also get a golden opportunity to meet some of the best professional players from the International circuit, who will be descending to India as ambassadors for competitive gaming.
The event organised by CII is positioned to expand the Indian gaming industry by leaps and bounds. With crucial inputs from international video game leaders, Indian game developers also stand to benefit exponentially. With CII directing the Indian video game industry towards a brighter tomorrow, the India Gaming Show is sure to set a stable foundation for the Indian gaming community. For more information, please visit www.gamingshow.in