Gaming is witnessing an evolution in terms of time spent: dentsu’s MGEN Summit

There is a good growth in depth, width of gaming participation.


Mumbai: At the MGEN Summit organised by Animation Xpress in collaboration with dentsu Gaming on December 2, one of the sessions aimed to decode how the gaming consumers’ behaviour has evolved. The speakers were SuperGaming CEO and co-founder Roby John, CrazyLabs India head of studio Surojit Roy, Carat India director Faraz Sayed, Rooter revenue head Ayush Aggarwal and Yudiz Solutions chairman & director Bharat Patel. The session was moderated by Sony Pictures Networks India associate vice president strategic planning and insights of ad sales Sujai Rajapaul.

One of the things noted was that there has been an evolution in terms of the time spent, in terms of new players coming in. And even in terms of general awareness. That's something where one has seen an increase in the last two years. Moreover what is now being seen is that people have really taken it as a kind of a career. Therefore one needs to talk about the time that people are consuming specialty gamers which is close to eight and half hours a week from the gaming aspect. On the revenue front millions of dollars are being generated. In this manner a huge shift is happening from a non-gaming arena to a gaming arena. And so people are really coming in nicely. 

The session noted that there is a tremendous scope, not only in India, but also abroad, which has been there since quite some time. 

Moreover the session deciphered that one more aspect that has changed in the last two years is typically the uptake of digital not just to gaming. When one talks about people taking to gaming one has to factor in the depth and width as well. The penetration is increasing as far as the age group that's coming in. 

The panel was of the opinion that what has helped is that the internet and mobiles have become easily accessible for gamers, especially in the last few years. Gaming is spreading far and wide. Often top players in a game's leaderboard are from tier II, tier III towns and cities. And in terms of demographics, it's an interesting mix. Parents play with their children too. So there is a situation where gaming is cutting across demographic and psychographic lines.

Another point made was that the gaming content creation has also become very significant over a period of time. It was also noted that the hyper casual gaming vertical has brought in a completely different audience into gaming. This is the mass market audience, which isn't considered gamers at all. These people have not grown up on games but the older generation and a seven year old nephew, who's never touched the game before, but is now coming on to this platform of gaming.

This introduces parents to the gaming sphere. And what that does is it makes them educated about what games are, what their children are doing, and exposes them to this whole other sphere of actual gaming that we see today. The gaming penetration in the 35+ age group has increased a lot which is contrary to the belief that these people are not really into gaming. And the reason for that is the kind of offering gaming brings on board. Board games are helping in this regard and it is not just that those games are now digitised. It is the fact that it helps them get more connected to their set of friends or the people across age groups. 

What helps here is that often the entry barrier is also very limited, that will keep the growth, the momentum of the growth for gaming going on for a very, very long time, said the panel. Smartphones are the area for PC and laptops, you have got everything if you really want to get into hyper casual gaming, you can do that if you want to get into high end PC gaming rigs, you can do that. 

The panel noted that it sees game creation, or development, as you'd like to call it being player first and community driven. There will be a situation where you're able to iterate and release a slice of your product, get it tested by your most dedicated fans, and iterate and build something even better on that. At the same time, game development is expensive. The costs involved are always rising, there's always new tech, there's always technical debt, there's always a bunch of things you have to worry about. So iteration with the community building with the community is where gaming and getting patient is where it is going to be. 

The process of making games is always rising, becoming harder and harder to make and get games out and release them. The panel emphasised that in the hyper casual games arena one approach that works could be just releasing a trailer. If that trailer doesn't convert well on clicks and is also a no on performance on the ad networks, then do not go ahead and make the game just for the sake of wanting to make the game. And this can be completely data oriented. This kind of reduces the costs of production, because you don't make the full game at all. So from 100 trailers you make only a set number of games from them. This way one can kind of address the market in real time.


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