Gaming and esports in India have surged significantly during the current lockdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. As a vast majority is still stuck at their homes, many are turning to virtual tools to survive quarantine. Particularly, online games have come as handy tools for both old and young users alike in the current times.
Many users have taken to video games to fight boredom while others are hoping to reduce some of their quarantine stress. Additionally, online games are also helping people to stay connected with their friends and family as they practise social distancing.
Notably, the rising popularity of gaming in the current times also urged WHO to launch its #PlayApartTogether campaign in partnership with gaming companies.
Gaming Cos Leveraging and Redesigning Strategies
Remarkably, the total number of mobile phone gamers in the country may go up to 628 million by the end of 2020. The overall gaming industry in India was estimated to be worth INR 62 billion in the year 2019. Remarkably, as per the German portal for market statistics, Indian gaming industry is predicted to be worth over INR 250 billion by 2024.
Ludo King, has claimed a surge in its daily active users from 15 million to around 50 million during the lockdown period. Another leading esports firm in India, WinZO Games has also noted a 30 per cent growth in its daily traffic. Additionally, Paytm First Games has also reported to have doubled its user base post COVID-19.
Conventionally, esports in India largely draws its customer base from students and other young adults. However, in the lockdown, users from all age groups and demographics are turned to online games and esports. Therefore, gaming companies have also been forced to redesign their strategies to make the most out of the current opportunity.
Many companies are either developing/collaborating with other companies to better serve their new users. Paytm First Games has also introduced ludo as well as new cooking and pool games on its platform. Moreover, WinZO Games has also partnered with Tencent Games to introduce PUBG on its gaming application.
However, the rising popularity of gaming has also become of case of concern for many. Healthcare professionals are already debating the health implications of increased screen hours combined with current distress. Prolonged periods in front of the screen can impact eyesight, body postures as well as our mental health. Notably, World Health Organisation has identified gaming disorders as a modern disease last year.