India is a mobile-centric gaming market. Now developers are looking overseas
The mobile game market in India is large. Not just in comparison to PC and console games; it’s big, period. PUBG Mobile’s Revamped Avatar Battlegrounds Mobile India had 100 million registered users in India, before he was mysteriously banned last month. Pandemic outbreak hit Ludo King has over 500 million downloads.
Clearly, the opportunity for small screen gaming is great in India, with Indian and overseas studios showing increased interest in entering a market ripe for a business model dominated by traditional advertising. But game studios operating in India are looking to a more enticing prospect: developing mobile games in India for a global audience.
“70% of the employees we have are working on about ten to 15 games that are primarily for global audiences,” said Kishore Kichili, Indian country manager for Zynga, owned by Take Two Interactive. Coach in an interview. Zynga has a significant presence in India and recently released two games in conjunction with the Indian government to mark the 75th anniversary of independence celebrations.
Even so, Kichili pointed out, Zynga’s office in Bengaluru focused on starting game development from Indian talent that could be marketed globally.
Zynga is not alone. Gametion, the developer behind Ludo King, said in a blog post that Indians weren’t the only ones helping the company break download records. The game “not only attracted more native Indian players, but also garnered an expanding player base in American and European countries”, Gametion said in a blog post in May. Although the studio won’t disclose the breakdown of downloads by country, it said the game’s surprise success took it “to places where the Ludo game wasn’t even known”.
There is a distinction to be made here between game studios that outsource work to India and those that create and imagine new games in India. For example, developers like Electronic Arts and Rockstar Studios have a significant presence in India, but they don’t typically work on titles designed and executed by Indian teams. These teams typically perform labor-intensive and time-consuming tasks, such as quality control and managing development tasks that core teams cannot handle.
But now studios seem to be gearing up to build on that presence to release original content that is, for lack of a better term, made in India.
At least one developer jumped at the chance soon enough – Pune-based startup Super Gaming released a game that found decent success overseas before becoming a household name in India. MaskGun, a first-person shooter developed by Super Gaming, was able to garner 42 million installswhich came from international audiences until PUBG was first banned.
The overseas focus makes sense – while developers can gain massive reach in India, most users in India don’t spend on games, meaning studios are limited to the ad revenue they get. generate, Zynga’s Kichili pointed out. In the meantime, he added, there are enough talents in India to develop these games.
Government support has also started to arrive slowly – the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting set up the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) task force in April, which had discussions with game developers to create Indian stories for global audiences. Kichili is part of this working group.
“It will be in our interest to take these [Indian] concepts and build a game for a bigger stage, and maybe localize it for every part of the world,” Kichili said.