Gaming is emerging as a compelling brand of entertainment in India today. There’s an immense potential for this industry with numerous ongoing technological innovations. Newer hi-tech developments are engaging consumers with a more interactive and cinematic experience, taking gaming experience to an entirely new level. Initially, what started with those vintage coin-operated video game parlours has now become a thing of the past. India may be a late entrant to the gaming industry, but is swiftly evolving in the global map. We are moving through an exciting era where we have a choice to play games via apps, online and on any device and platform. Even, the gaming companies are now betting big on bringing digital innovation to conventional Indian games to compete with the western world.
A never before visual experience
In early 1990s, 32 and 64 bit “Media” consoles, housing dozens of games like Contra, Mario, etc, became the foundation of gaming, followed by a scintillating era of PC gaming which began to forge ahead with the likes of First Person Shooter (FPS) games such as “Wolfenstein 3D” and “Doom” as they introduced gamers to a new genre of gaming in the 3D world. PCs not only redefined the way games are played but also provided a convenient, affordable way of playing them so much so that even today, it remains the most popular form of gaming.
The graphics and gameplay facilitated by FPS games brought enormous changes in the overall growth of gaming, inducing many youngsters to become avid gamers. What followed next was a trail of games, with each game title competing with enhanced graphics and faster game play to capture the gaming market. Though, we have come a long way from that but the quality of visual graphics still continues to be one of the key deciding factors for the higher penetration of gaming in the country.
Today, with the right combination of hardware and software, you can experience incredible visual effects. Thanks to next generation technologies, your gaming characters are now capable of showing love, anger and numerous other e motions. Be it the soft shadows or the particle-based snow effects or Batman’s cape flowing in the wind, the special effects in Batman’s Arkham Knight highlight the realism and immersive technology game developers are using to develop games today.
Further, the characters in the new games have perfect rendered skin and hair, water in the ocean is perfectly stimulated to give you a more cinematic experience of the waves in a real ocean, the grass and fire have a fair sense of colour and imagery. Evolving technologies like Gamestream Co-op now enables us to ping a friend to seek help to get through those tough levels in the game. With gaming being offered as a service, the overall industry has definitely come a long way, facilitating a new gaming environment which is more interactive, beautiful and user-friendly.
The rise of the gaming industry
From the last three decades, gaming has been a vast industry and will continue to flourish with the rapid proliferation of multiple devices like smartphones and tablets, more internet penetration and availability of fast broadband like 4G. According to the current Nasscom data, there are now more than one thousand independent gaming studios based in India. Currently, the global gaming industry is estimated to be in excess of $100 billion, making it the largest content industry in the world. In the race for matching standards with America and Japan in the gaming segment, financially, the Indian gaming industry has never been healthier.
The social gaming market is another industry which is gaining popularity overtime. When Facebook came into existence in 2011, it started emerging as industry’s new playground by swiftly gaining popularity owing to the social interaction involved between players. But now, with the rise of video game streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube gaming, it has received a slight setback. These game streaming sites enable gamers to stream gameplay live to friends and fans which is new and exciting. These live and video on-demand platforms cater to the entire video game industry including game developers, publishers, media outlets, events, casual content creators, and relies heavily on audio and chat options, allowing broadcasters and their audiences to interact, just about everything.
Today, it is estimated that the overall value of global social gaming market will reach $17.4 billion by 2019 (Source – Transparency Market Research). Thus one can say, social gaming is taking advantage of the Internet’s unique ability to accumulate social connections in order to encourage greater investments to promote gaming.
Video game development has become another big industry in itself, owing to the technological growth in VFX and animation in India. India’s animation entertainment sector has also experienced a boom over the past few years, contributing to the demand of high-end graphics.
The present size of the animation industry is estimated at $247 million and is expected to grow at 15-20% per annum. Not simply restricted to games, animation today is an essential part of the movie industry as well. Movies like Avatar, Minions, Avengers and Ra.One, etc. had great animation and VFX support. All this became possible due to tremendous advances in the technology which are facilitating a real time and larger than life experience to audience’s delight.
State-of-the-art graphic technologies will form an even more critical component in the content produced using animation and computer graphic (CG) effects in times to come. This alone will be a game changing paradigm for future productions.
The writer is managing director, South Asia, Nvidia Graphics