Advertisers can’t ignore the genre any more because of the reach and availability esports platform provides
Globally, a billion dollar industry, esports in India is fast catching up to the rest of the world. From user growth to advertising revenue and venture capitalist investment, the online gaming industry in India is climbing the success ladder faster than expected due to the global pandemic. The last four months has accelerated the growth of the industry by 1-1.5 years, Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League, said. He was speaking at the inaugural edition of India Gaming Summit 2020, held virtually. “One of the biggest things that we are seeing for sure is that the appetite for users wanting to compete in games and wanting to spend money on the platform has increased by 200%-300%. This has created a significant interest in the category, resulting in a lot of businesses turning profitable,” he added. The session was moderated by Roma Datta Chobey, director – Travel, BFSI, Classifieds, Gaming, Telco and Payments, Google.
As for Sudhanshu Gupta, COO, Paytm First Games, this rise in user base and popularity in esports is also because a lot of developers are pushing the envelope in competitive gaming, hence reinventing the space and making it more innovative. Moreover, he added, with mobile as the preferred device in India, brands are looking forward to working with this innovative space. “Esports has largely been on PC with very few specific titles. However, mobile gaming is changing that as more games come into the frame. With more investments coming in, enabling better marketing and user on-boarding strategies, coupled with the fact that esports is now becoming content friendly, is capturing the attention of brands,” Gupta stated.
From a marketer’s perspective, the fact that the main target group present in this platform is between 19-25 years of age makes esports an exciting platform for brands to advertise their youth oriented brands. “Considering the fact that there are a billion gamers across the globe and this number is expected to increase 300% in the next three years, as an advertiser you can’t ignore the genre because of the reach and availability esports platform provides,” Sandeep Verma, country head – India, consumer health, Bayer Group, opined.
Meanwhile, Paritosh Gupta, associate director, marketing, Perfetti Van Melle India, urged advertisers to keep in mind two key things when it comes to advertising on esports. “There are two things one must watch out from a brand’s perspective. Your brand must gel with the tonality of the platform, esports is a fast-pace, energetic and social platform and the brand must adapt to the tone of the platform and blend in seamlessly. Secondly, the brands should keep in mind that they are in no way spoiling the gamer’s experience,” he elaborated.
Currently, the esports industry space goes unchecked and unregulated by the government of India. The apex industry body All India Gaming Federation is looking at adopting a self-regulatory model for the esports arena. “For esports, we are trying to adopt the South Korean method of regulations which is basically self-regulation backed by the governmental support system,” Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation, exclaimed.