Gaming In India

Why is this $160 billion industry treated as a crime in India?

The sheer disappointment and disbelief on any Indian parents face when you apprise them that you’re gonna head to a gaming cafe.

The recent burst of the gaming industry in India has done wonders and caused it to have a projected growth of a soaring $3 billion by the end of 2022, although it is considered to be an erroneous act by all Indian families. Why is it that a teen who wants to game with every piece of his heart is being tagged as the black sheep of the family. Are our parents to be blamed for this? I guess not, they are not the ones who have witnessed this massive transformation of the gaming industry. Gaming is not the same as it was 10- 15 years back, where people hopped onto a game just cause they were bored or wanted to kill time, it has evolved into something much more than that. Hundreds of LAN tournaments hosted with a prize pot of millions of dollars. So maybe this time we hold their hands for some time and help them walk through this whole new world of gaming.

A few false misconceptions parents carry surrounding gaming

  1. Gaming cafes are all about gambling

This is one deep-rooted and profound thought that every Indian parent has, which is probably because the only gaming cafes which they have lived through are “Video Game Parlour”, which indeed was a place to gamble,  where computers were used to display gambling games. This is something that is poles apart from the actual reality which is just renting a computer or a gaming console for a few hours to relish your free time and evade reality.

  1. Gaming cafes lead your child to vice practices such as smoking

A few teen guys smoking outside gaming cafes is quite a common sight to catch and you’d be lying if you said you have never seen your classmates smoke a cigarette outside your college. How’s it any different from a gaming cafe? This is all about how you pick up things from your surroundings. All our life parents have taught us not to engage in these activities, then why don’t they have faith in what they have taught us when we are being put to a test. Although, don’t get me wrong, with every red line crossed, comes consequences. If your parents put in all of their good faith in your morality, you better not put it away, and deliberately recall what you have been taught.

  1. Gaming cannot be a career option 

On average a pro streamer makes about $2,000 (₹1,47,000) per month alone from donations and the subscriptions. Leaving the ad revenue, brand deals, and sponsors aside, which amounts to more than half of their income. In India, we observed a boom in the streaming sector when PUBG mobile was at its peak.

So what does it take to go pro?

In actual reality, it might seem a child’s play, but this is a rocky road to walk on indeed. Especially in a country where the gaming industry has not yet been completely matured, although with a ton of dedication put in for months or maybe years you might make it to the top or you might not, so also consider having a plan B ready. Probably have a good balance between education and gaming simultaneously, but do not let one be compromised for another. With every passing heartbeat do not stop following your passion.

  1. Gamers are usually lethargic, obese, and have weak eyesight.

Been a gamer all my life, from Contra to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, played it all. Have spent 8 hours with no breaks in front of a monitor playing competitive games and have perfect eyesight and in good shape. This is where again having a balanced life kicks in. If gaming wears you out at the end of the day, you might want to consider spending some fewer hours on screen and rather work out a little. Look up to players like Ankit ‘V3nom’ Panth who lead an extremely well-balanced life when it comes to gaming and physical health.

Maybe it’s time we don’t blame our parents for curbing the gaming potential in India.

What has gaming done for me?

The good old days when our blood gushed to the head, the unbearable wait to just take a step home and turn the PC on to play some Call Of Duty with our friends. After every exhausting day at school or college, I knew there was only a thing that would make it magnificent. It’s been 4 years now, and me and my friends catch up every Sunday by visiting a gaming cafe to play some Counter Strike. Every second spent on a Sunday while gaming assisted me to obliterate the stress in reality. It has had a marvelous influence over us which fixed every hideous week. Every Monday we all impatiently wait for the next Sunday.

The strategies executed in Counter Strike, the 200 IQ moves made by pro players, the insane clutches, it has managed to spark a nerve in me and it has only drawn me more towards it. All these moves have made me deeply contemplate how critical thinking plays a massive role in games, one move can potentially flip the game around.

And when it comes down to the colossal gaming community, who knew I would end up making more friends online by playing multiplayer games. When COVID- 19 hit the world and the whole world ended up in a lockdown state, it felt like a gamer’s paradise, staying home and playing games all day long, ended up playing with people I have never seen or met before. There was an amazing feeling within me which appreciated every little thing about this large and warm community, somewhere found a place where I truly belonged.  I wonder how else I would have survived without gaming.

Digging deep into the financials

Once again, gaming isn’t something which helps us kill time. It has successfully transformed into a gigantic industry. Confidently, I can say that each and every person has played a video game at some point in his/her life, and could possibly be the worst mobile phone game. To put it in numbers, we have around 2.5 billion active gamers worldwide. It might be quite evident how enormous the gaming industry is and said to have a CAGR growth rate of around 15%. Sony made $16 billion just from the sales of their consoles, when the total revenue of Sony is $70 billion. With some quick maths, it amounts to 23% of their revenue, not considering the extra subscriptions and the game sales. It might be quite shocking that in 2015 computer game sales were around $26 billion, that is more than the double of movie ticket sales of $11.6 billion. In 2019 free to play games, games which have been retailed for free, have managed to generate a revenue of $87 billion. 

If these numbers are not jaw dropping, let’s get talking about the gargantuan graphic processing unit manufacturer for gaming, NVIDIA. With only 30% of the company, which is listed publicly, covers a market cap of $370 billion. Every year NVIDIA rises with their innovative chips, leaving every gamer astounded. It’s quite evident how major companies are trying to warp around the aspect of gaming; headphones, mouse, keyboard and monitors solely made for gaming purpose. AMD came up with its CPUs specially for gaming, Logitech expanded and started its own subsidiary “Logitech G” for gaming equipment. With all these major companies trying to capture the gaming market, it’s evident that gaming is no joke in 2020.

Believe it or not gaming is the next big thing and it is already on the rise. GLHF!

Credits to Ankit ‘V3nom’ Panth, who is wholeheartedly trying to influence the gaming situation in India.

Dhawaj Punamiya

I have seen a lot in life, except colours.