Mobile gaming causes big dent to video streaming, prime time TV: Report

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Mobile Gaming’s gain in India is becoming the loss of video live streaming and prime time television ratings.

Mobile Marketing Association’s Power of Mobile Gaming in India data has revealed that in India average daily time spent on mobile games has breached the one-hour mark, whereas the average time spent on live-streamed video content consumption is 45 minutes.

The boost to the mobile gaming, thanks to an affordable range of smartphones and easy and economical access to internet data, is also hitting the prime time television audience numbers hard. Most of the 250 million mobile gamers in India are recorded hooked on to gaming between 7 pm and midnight, according to a report by national daily Times of India.

A Mobile Marketing Association’s Power of Mobile Gaming in India report has revealed that 75% gamers in India play mobile games at least twice a day. “With over 250 million mobile gamers, India is one of the top five gaming countries, globally,” states the report.

The multi-player game PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) has expanded fast following the launch of its mobile version in March. A Quartz survey by the browser Jana has revealed that 62% of the 1,047 respondents have agreed that they played PUBG, which also allows the players voice chat during the games. There are online PUBG championships and tournaments taking place in India.

The investment in the gaming industry has witnessed over 1,500% rise in two years. Data from Venture Intelligence, a firm that tracks VC/PE investments, has reportedly revealed that there has been $116 million private investment in new-age gaming start-ups ascompared to just $7 million of PE and VC funds that went into the sector in 2016.

The Indian gaming upswing had started in 2016 as the augmented reality experience of Pokemon Go took the world by storm. Similarly 2018 too has been a milestone year as India’s gaming community embraced blockbuster multi-player games. Besides PUBG, another smash hit has been Ludo King, a mobile game based on the classic board game. The brainchild of Patna-born Vikash Jaiswal, it recorded over 180 million installations in 2018.

Rajesh Rao, founder CEO of Dhruva Interactive and chair of the the India Game Developers Conference advisory committee, says the boom has come from smaller cities. A game like Ludo King, Rao said, appealed to people of all age groups and had taken gaming from being a ‘niche’ entertainment genre to a mainstream one. “Gaming in India has been generally about young and tech savvy people, but now it is a massmarket phenomena,” he said.

No surprise that it has caught the attention of investors.

What is PUBG?

PUBG throws 100 players onto an island with scattered resources. Once the game starts, they need to find weapons to defend themselves with as the safe areas of the island begin to shrink. The last player or team surviving at the end of the round is the winner.