Microsoft recently launched its Xbox one. It is the latest entrant to the line of Xboxes, Playstations, Nintendo, etc. With Google planning to launch its gaming console , does that mean that market dynamics of gaming industry is set to change. But the question to ask here is what the future of the gaming industry is?
Analysts are discussing what will be new face of gaming industry- consoles or huge mobile and tablet market. The convenience of being able to play games anytime anywhere is a huge advantage over playing games tethered to a television set. No doubt in recent times games like Angry Birds, Temple run, Subway Surfer have managed to gather a huge fan following.
Another area; social gaming market is witnessing tremendous growth as more than 200 million people are playing online games on social networking websites like Facebook, MySpace and others. Social gaming industry is emerging as one of the most prominent market, generating real revenues and market place, thus constituting a good chunk of social e-commerce market.
According to Market research firm, Newzoo, the global gaming market will become $86.1 mn as compared to $66.3 billion in 2012. The firm says that the compound annual growth rate for handheld sales will be -15 percent and for PC/Mac platforms, -6.4 percent. The market for the TV/console platform — which is the most popular gaming platform — will see modest growth of 3.5 percent. Meanwhile, tablets will see the biggest growth at 47.6 percent, followed by smartphones at 18.8 percent.
On being asked about the future of gaming industry, whether it will be consoles or mobile gaming, Mr. Jayont R. Sharma, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Milestone Interactive Private Limited , says, “I would certainly say it cannot be either one. Well it is like asking your self would you watch a movie at the theatre or sit at home and watch it on television. It is all about the experience, if you would want the experience grandeur which includes graphical quality, sound and in short an immersive game play experience then it would be consoles. While on the other hand while traveling or something that you would play for a shorter span of time then yes our mobile users come into play. Mobile gaming caters to a more casual audience and users who want a quicker experience. Well in the near future there is a possibility that Mobile games will improve graphics etc while on the other hand Gaming Consoles could get leaner and easier to port around. So yes I would say the future of games is vast and one definitely cannot replace the other.”
On the changing scenario in gaming industry, Mr. Somendra Harsh, CEO, Ash Group, said, “The gaming industry is undergoing a huge change. Developers are coming out with apps and games targeted at the mobile Industry. This is the result of increase in mobile penetration. Also, games are being developed for social media like Facebook as this gives them bigger platform to sell their product. With open source increasing its presence in every corner, many apps are being developed using this platform. So yes I agree that gaming industry future is great.”
India’s gaming market is predicted to grow by 30% by 2014, reports Netscribes. The market is led by mobile gaming, which represents close to 60% of the overall market. Gaming competitions, the creation of gaming zones and increasingly popular MMOGs will fuel the market. The last few years have been really beneficial for the country in terms of gaming industry growth in country. Retailers like Game 4 u and Games the Shop have helped the developers to reach the audience in a better manner. They have e-commerce activity plus retail outlets also.
On being asked behind the thought of starting a retail outlet dedicated to gaming, Mr. Jayont R. Sharma, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Milestone Interactive Private Limited, said “The concept of Game4U as a retail store came about through to our strategic vision road map. I saw this as an opportunity for a backward and forward integrated business growth, given the constraint whereby channel partners in the country were not giving a high priority to gaming product display. Also, from a service standpoint, seeing how customers were lost and confused about how and where to purchase their games, that’s where our expertise in the industry comes in, to guide consumers to make better and educated purchases while catering to their need by keeping a store only focusing on gaming.
Also considering the fact that Gaming is the future Interactive form of entertainment and around 65 -70 % of Gamers are below the age of 35. We realized there is a huge untapped platform which we could develop on.”
The games be it in console form or mobile form, the future for game developers looks very bright. Few years ago, game development as a career was something one didn’t really think of, right? But the scenario has changed now. There are many roles that the industry is offering; producers, designers, animators, programmers, engineers, art directors, artists, testers etc.
On the career prospects of the industry, Mr. Amit Trivedi, C.O.O, Virtualinfocom, said, “Gaming was always most respectable and promising career this is only industry which has never seen recession. The casual gaming in India is expected to grow significantly at a CAGR of 32% by 2015. Revenue from this sector is expected to grow four times and the number of casual gamers to increase eight times by 2015. Mobiles have increased the career and growth opportunities for game developers. There are more than 1200 gaming companies in India and will increase up to 3200 by end of 2015.Earlier, development teams of big-name games employed only 20 to 40 people but now they are more likely to be doubly strong. Game development has become a respectable and promising career.”
The gaming industry in India earlier was really vague. The market for video games was limited to only few strata of society. But now slowly the scenario is changing. Globally companies are looking for outsourcing in order to cut their cost. So gaming can be in any form but Indians are slowly developing an appetite for the same.