Funds, innovation needed in gaming sector: Experts
Mumbai, March 14 : The gaming industry in India is still emerging and there is a need to invest and innovate to keep the users engaged, experts said Thursday at the Ficci Frames 2013 media and entertainment industry convention.
The discussion, titled 'The Emerging Ecosystem: What it Means to the Gaming Industry in India', took place on the third day of the 14th edition of Ficci Frames in Mumbai organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
"Gaming is evolving, but it is still at a raw stage. While we have seen many gaming companies come up in the past few years, there is a need to clearly innovate to keep the users engaged," said Anuj Tandon, co-founder and director of Rolocule Games.
Agreeing with Tandon, Siddharth Nautiyal, director of BVP India, added that though the sector had potential, there was a big need of investment.
"Investors are beginning to see the potential in gaming for various reasons, the growing app ecosystem being one of the biggest. Also India stands at number 3 position when it comes to the number of downloads of games," Nautiyal said.
"Having said that, downloads do not necessarily lead to profitability which is the current state here. More investment in creative content creation and innovation will churn the wheel and define a leap in the gaming industry in India," he said.
Experts also felt that a lot had to be done in the innovation and investment space.
Manish Agarwal, CEO, Reliance Entertainment - Digital, who also moderated the session, shared quick statistics quoting the Japan mobile gaming being more than USD5 billion market, followed by US with approximately USD2 billion.
Aakrit Vaish, country head of Flurry, batted his case on monetisation and saying retention of users is a major challenge.
"This leads to the concern on monetisation for game developers. If compared to the US, an Indian game developer earns a 10th of the revenue as opposed to his counterpart in the US," he said.
Samir Bangara, former managing director (digital) of Disney India, however, said that India had a huge propensity of becoming big in gaming.
"While the monetisation part is critical, key priority, on a new launch or even on existing properties, is to engage users," he said.
Taking examples from successful local content like 'MTV Roadies' and 'Chhota Bheem' in television, Ninad Chhaya, chief operating Officer of Playcaso, said that localisation of gaming content will help boost the industry in India.