Free Mobile Games Taking the Life of Indian Gaming Companies
Bangalore: India currently has 900 million mobile devices. Over the years, sale of mobile phones have gone up to massive margins and by reviewing this growth, game developers in India have come up with a change in their business model with focus on developing mobile games rather than the usual computer games segment. It is based on a report by Raji Reddy Kesireddy of Economic Times.
Gamers are now shifting focus to mobile games rather than the usual PC or Console gaming which is leading to fewer sales of the games launched in these two platforms, incurring huge losses to the developers. Most of the mobile games that are played today are initially available free of cost also known as the "freemium model" thus adding to the misery of the game developers. Hence majority of the game developing companies in India are converting their technology to suite mobile gaming platforms. Reliance Entertainment Digital's chief executive Manish Agarwal came up with a statement that currently they have a portfolio of 70% paid games and 30% freemium. Considering that many gamers are tending to change to freemium mode Reliance entertainment is estimating the ratio to rise to a 100 percent.
According to KPMG-FICCI study forecasts, the Indian gaming market is around 1,500 crore which is going to triple to 4,200 crore by 2017, but the mobile gaming industry will go more than triple, from 560 crore to 1800 crore during the same period. Seeing the tremendous growth forecasts the game developers are now making alliances with app stores of mobile handset manufacturers and operating system developers, including Google Play, Samsung Apps and Nokia's Ovi.
Shalini Verma who is a principal research analyst at Gartner's comes out with the startling facts of large gaming studios with big budget games exploring the “Freemium” model. There has recently been an unfavorable market situation for game developers pertaining to which they have shrunk their operations. French firm Gameloft closed its Indian operations in January and 7Seas Entertainment shut its U.S. subsidiary on April.
Sameer Ganapathy, Disney UTVS chief operations officer views the “Freemium” model to be the perfect business model considering India to be a price sensitive market. He considers the model to give freedom for gamers in buying the game or not. Game developers too are considering the "freemium model" to fetch them more profits in the future rather than the usual model of selling them on CDs and DVDs.
U.S. has a higher rate of spending on games rather than the Indian market segment which is indeed a cause of concern for the local game developers. Mobiles are east to be carried and can be used in any nuke and corner of the world therefore people tend to use them on a regular basis in playing mobile games and the future of this platform is one among the most brightest market segments.