I don't need to "get a life". I'm a gamer. I have lots of lives. ~ Unknown
One trend I have been watching pretty closely for the past 8-10 months is the meteoric rise of professional gaming and esports onto the main stage in India, especially in the mobile division. And we have to give the credit to mobile games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite.
While I'm not a professional gamer myself, but I'm definitely interested in this genre, and given the market size of this genre in India itself, I believe in the long-term success of this genre.
According to a Google-KPMG report, the online gaming Industry in India, although in its nascent stage, is currently valued at $360 Million and is expected to grow to $1 Billion by 2021 at a growth rate of 20%. The online gamers community is expected to reach 310 Million by 2021. That's huge!
But that's just a small piece of pie. South Korea's gaming and esports market was valued at about $5.6 Billion in 2018 making it the World's 4th biggest gaming market. While there are about 600 million gamers in China willing to spend $37.9 billion, which makes it the biggest gaming market in the world.
What really excites me the most is, there is a huge number of people watching a relatively small number of gamers playing their favourite game. This is crazy. People are actually watching rather than playing, and that is the real success of professional gamers, that a lot of people allocate time to watch their favourite streamers play.
Video games are not just video games that some nerd play in their basement. Video games are Pop Culture now.
Let's take an example. Yesterday, I was watching a livestream of MortaL, one of the best PUBG Mobile player in India, and at one point in time, he had like 400K concurrent viewers. 400K concurrent viewers is a huge amount and it shows the potential of how big this market is.
What also amazes me is now with the trend of mobile gaming in India, we are starting to see how different brands approaches these streamers. We have seen movie producers approach these Gaming YouTubers for paid promotions by having the movie stars feature in gaming videos playing with some famous gamer. And if this is not a proof that gaming industry is going to be huge in India in the next 5 years, I don't know what is.
I believe that the esports scene, the mobile division in particular, in India is about to explode in the next 2 years, and at some point in the near decade, it is going to be much bigger than IPL.
IPL is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India where top professional cricketers from all over the world showcase their talent.
India despite being World's 2nd largest country by a population of 1.3 Billion is lacking in every dimension of online gaming.
At this point, I am interested in better understanding how the gaming economy works and how this whole esports scene evolve in India, but I seriously believe that someone should jump right into this whole esports startup scene and make the best out of it. It's still in early stages in India, but in the next 5 years we will see more startups starting their own esports organization and taking this genre to a whole new level.
Personally, I believe mobile gaming is a great shot to take and I really believe in PUBG Mobile as a franchise that will take Indian Mobile Gaming forward. What I would love to see is Entrepreneurs starting esports startup, hire pro and semi-pro gamers and make professional gaming a viable career option in India.
And if someone is willing to fund an esports startup in India, I would definitely love to give it a shot.