Gaming industry booming despite Covid gloom
- During lockdown, people resorted to indoor gaming
- Online games gave people a virtual space
- Gaming apps help users hang out with real-friends
- Number of people indulged in playing online games shot up from 300 million in 2019 to 360 mn in 2021
Mumbai: It is a kind of gain-some-and-lose-some game for India Inc due to the pandemic. While gaming industry has gained due to the second wave, a host of other industries has been on the losing side. Use of video games sky-rocketed during the pandemic, and with this, the gaming industry saw a significant spike in both revenue and in-game time. The gaming industry is valued at just under $1 billion, growing at 41 per cent a year, according to a study by KPMG.
By 2024, it's estimated to shoot up to $3.75 billion in India from subscriptions, in-app purchases, and advertising and platform fees comprising the revenue streams. It is said that 300 million people indulged in playing online games in 2019 and the number shot up to 360 million in 2021.
Talking to Bizz Buzz, Danish Sinha, Founder of Gamestacy, says: "The pandemic, be it the first or the second wave, has forced people to stay indoors. This led to increased popularity and fan base of the gaming industry."
As people faced a nation-wide lockdown, they resorted to gaming to reach out and talk to anyone from all over the world. Games are a fun way to connect and engage with people, which in turn positively impacts their social interactions. Hence during the days of a void in social lives, online games gave people a virtual space to hang out with real-friends or online ones.
There's a community on the other side of the screen, giving many a new outlet for the much-needed connection in isolation. Moreover, people who were experiencing similar physical or mental health found a community through gaming to share their experiences in meaningful ways, he added.
While the gaming industry gained, the entertainment and cinema exhibition industry has run into heavy losses. This is the first sector to be shut down and the last sector to reopen. Fall in advertisement spends also hit the entertainment sector hard.
This has adversely affected production activities and theatre businesses that are adopting different ways and means to slowly but surely attract audiences with controlled and regulated procedures and protocols.
Anant Roongta, MD, Famous Studios, says: "Just as the ad market was on its way to recovery, the second wave hit the industry and the future became uncertain, but we hope for a rapid recovery. The country's advertisers are treading cautiously and brands are forced to go back to the drawing board to revisit their production and media spend strategy for the upcoming months. In the quest for quantifiable returns on investments, brands are turning to social/digital media, influencers and high-tech solutions to optimize marketing efforts by experimenting with machine learning, artificial intelligence and other technologies and marketing strategies. With that backdrop, it is not surprising that the production process of advertisements has changed and will continue to evolve."