Esports has been one of the fastest-growing industries in recent years. The rise of the gaming industry has been fuelled by the growth of digital technology and the internet, which has enabled the creation of virtual gaming communities and the development of new game titles. The esports industry has taken advantage of this growth, offering gamers and fans the opportunity to compete in large-scale online tournaments and watch live streaming events.
For instance, the inaugural Dubai Esports Festival 2022 provided a world-class platform to showcase the growth and potential of esports. It brought together some of the top esports players and teams from around the world, providing an opportunity for companies and organisations to showcase the latest technologies. It also offered a unique experience for fans, allowing them to engage with their favourite players and participate in gaming-related events, live competitions and events. The Dubai Esports Festival 2022 was a fine example of building a global community and raising the profile of the industry.
The state of esports in India
In India, the esports industry is just starting to pick up steam. And the country has all the necessary ingredients to make this sector big in the global arena, the main one being we are home to the second-largest gamer base in the world, with roughly 400 million gamers. Further, the recent recognition of esports as a “multi-sport event” and integrating it into the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs by the Indian government has given the industry a major boost. This is a significant step forward for the industry, as it now has the support of the government to grow and develop in India. India is now set to take part in the AIMAG 2025, the Olympics Esports Week, and the Asian Games 2023 (Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games).
Also read: Indian Esports Is Ready To Leave A Mark On The Global Stage
According to the FICCI-EY Media and Entertainment Report 2022, the number of esports players in India doubled from 300,000 in 2020 to 600,000 in 2021, while the revenues increased by 29% from INR 7.5 billion in 2020 to INR 9.7 billion in 2021. The growth of esports in the country among others is being aided by the rising digital adoption, availability of high-speed internet with inexpensive data plans, rise in number of new game launches and viewership of broadcasting platforms and increase in vernacular content. As per an Ernst & Young’s report titled, ‘Ready.Set.Game ON’, India is predicted to be one of the countries with the highest growth in terms of esports viewership and income generated, increasing four-fold to INR 1,100 crore by 2025.
What India needs to do
For India to capitalise on the growth of the esports industry, there are several areas that we must focus on immediately.
First, esports requires infrastructure. This includes building specialised gaming venues such as arenas and stadiums to host live events and competitions along with necessary equipment and technology to support the gaming experience. These include high-speed internet connections, gaming PCs, and gaming consoles.
Second, nurturing talent for esports is important in helping the industry to grow. Currently, there are only three institutes in India that have a curriculum around esports and gaming, and this number also needs to grow. For this, the government must start specialised gaming schools and training programmes independently and also in collaboration with universities and colleges that cover a wide range of topics, including game design, programming, and esports strategy catering to players at all stages. Corporates too can play a significant role by offering financial support to gaming schools, training programs and events, to create opportunities for gamers to hone their skills. This multi-faceted approach will help build a strong and inclusive community for gamers, enabling growth and opportunities.
Third, standardisation and regulation are a necessity for the thriving of this sector. As esports continues to grow and evolve into a professional industry, there is a need to establish best practices, define roles and responsibilities, and provide a framework for players, teams, and organisations to operate within. This will help protect player welfare i.e., ensure fair play and promote healthy competition. Regulation will help ensure health and safety of players, such as setting limits on playing time, providing access to medical support, and promoting a positive and healthy working environment. Also, a regulated and standardised esports industry will be more attractive to investors and sponsors, as it provides a more stable and predictable environment to operate in.
Also read: Building An International Esports Platform: Indian Entrepreneur Explains How Dubai Facilitates Expansion
Fourth, there’s a need to have collaboration with foreign esports bodies and institutions. Currently, there are only a few esports organisations that are truly global and contribute to knowledge sharing, and India needs to increase this number to further its growth. Foreign esports bodies can bring international exposure and competition opportunities, access to expertise and resources, support in standardisation and regulation, and cultural exchanges. On the other hand, collaboration with institutes can provide players enough avenues to further their skills and competencies, indulge in research and development creating a pool of talent apart from access to expert advice on policy and regulation.
The fifth most important factor is access to funding. Over the last few years, there has been massive consolidation between traditional console/PC and mobile games. With a wide, ever-growing choice of games that users can play, the hero here is the publisher. Game publishers must invest time and money to grow the game. Thus, access to funding becomes imperative. Also, investment is needed to build necessary infrastructure and support systems, nurture talent, develop newer technologies that can drive innovation among others.
The esports industry in India certainly holds huge promise for the future. With over 650 million smartphone users and a major proportion of them being gaming enthusiasts, there is a belief that everyone is a gamer. By implementing the right actions now, India can ensure that the country is prepared to benefit from the expanding global esports market and capitalise on the opportunity for job creation, economic growth, and cross-cultural interaction.
For more in the world of technology and science, keep reading Indiatimes.com.
Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed above are of the author, Yashashvi Takallapalli, VP & GM, Nostra, and do not represent Indiatimes.
Leave a Reply