With the growth of smartphones and tablet penetration in the country, mobile and online gaming sees huge potential for growth. In an exclusive interview with Metro India, 7Seas Technologies founder and MD Maruti Shanker talks about the technologies that are bringing sea change in the gaming industry.“Entry barriers either for the consumers or for developers have drastically reduced over time. Today, a consumer doesn’t need to spend heavily either to buy a gaming console or to buy a game. It can be very much played either on his smartphone or tablet. Even the prices of the games and smartphones have been come down considerably. Gaming industry can bet on the growth of smartphone market for making it accessible to millions of users,” says Shanker.
“Broadband and 3G Internet enabled consumers to download and play games at their ease. Mobility has helped to increase usage as the users can now play at leisure. Free games have also facilitated consumer awareness and driving growth of the industry in India. In terms of revenue model, companies started relying on advertising apart from simply relying on paid model,” he says.
He further adds, “Earlier, gaming companies or developers had to invest heavily to develop a game for gaming console. Today, their idea can be well developed for a tablet or mobile at less resources and costs. Despite all this, quality still plays a crucial part in order to make a game successful.”
In terms of industry scope and size, he says, “Global gaming market, which currently is at $70.4 billion, is projected to reach $86.1 billion by 2016. Number of gamers would surpass 1.2 billion by 2013 globally, which would mean one among every seven in the world will be a gamer. However, the Indian market is worth of $250 million, which is not even 1 per cent of the global market, leaving huge potential and scope for growth.”
Shanker says that shift in behavioural pattern among parents has also played a key role in the growth of gaming patrons in youth. “Earlier, gaming was considered as a bad habit. Today, it is a mode of entertainment that is even enjoyed by parents along with their kids. Gaming has now become part of the kids childhood. Age barrier is also diminishing, making everybody to enjoy the game,” he says.He explains, “For any industry to nurture and develop there is a need for consumers. The growth in gamers drives the industry in the future.”
In terms of challenges, he says, “Availability of good skilled human resource is a hurdle for the industry. Gaming industry requires people, who have both programming and creative skills. “Earlier, this was not considered as a career option but this has changed significantly now. However, this doesn’t suffice the gap.”
“There are opportunities for testers, developers and artists. Professionals should also be familiar with gaming part from their core skills. Programming languages such as Objective C, J2Me, C++ are required to enter the domain. Whereas testers should be proficient in playing games and to find bugs and know porting. The government also has to take initiative for the development of skillsets that will help the industry and increase employability of candidates,” he adds.