Friday, November 2, 2007

Gaming industry's challenges in India

While gaming as an industry is growing in India, distribution, pricing and perception are three key challenges preventing rapid growth.India's broadband penetration and government tariffs on gaming consoles are stifling growth, said India's leading gaming companies, in a panel discussion at Nasscom Animation and Gaming India 2007. Microsoft country manager entertainment and services division Mohit Anand said that the company made several observations of the Indian gaming market. "We've learnt that the Indian gamer wants the latest and the best content at the same time when it releases internationally. Sales of Halo 3 in India have exceeded about 10,000 units already and considering the current size of the market, this is very encouraging."However, distributing content is a major drawback. It is still a logistic challenge to have it on retail shelves on the day of its international release," he pointed out.Microsoft launched its Xbox 360 last year in India and in November will bring the Xbox 360 Live. "We've realised that this is a very complex business and having an online plan in the gaming experience can be a killer app," he asserted. Zapak Digital Entertainment COO Rohit Sharma said that while casual online gaming was picking up in India, there is need for segmentation. "There is a need to check how content should be segmented. You must include social networking features and promote community sites within gaming portals to ensure that gamers are loyal to your portal," he said. Indiagames founder and director Vishal Gondal highlighted the need for low-cost revenue model for starters, to receive mass adoption. "What we did, was to get the lowest common denominator to sample the aggregation of the best content on mobile, for a small amount. We can then track the kind of handset infrastructure and graphic card the consumer uses and deliver the same information to technology companies, thus initiating new relationships with them. This creates a possibility of upscaling revenue models." Contests2Win founder and chairman Alok Kejriwal pointed out that it was important to offer the consumer an option to make money while playing the game as well. "So you have a gamer who's paid an amount to race this really cool car, collect stickers and be the king of the game. Now you've to offer a value proposition to him, where he can, say auction his car to another gamer in exchange for a handsome price."

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