Console gaming dominance to reduce gradually in India

MUMBAI: Console continues to be the largest segment of the Indian gaming market. However, the Ficci KPMG report notes that its dominance is expected to reduce gradually as mobile gaming gains significance.

While growth rates of 28 per cent were forecast over 2011- 2012, actual growth came in at 8 per cent primarily due to overall sluggishness in the economy impacting both unit sales and attach ratios. The growth was also impacted by sluggishness in ad rates and significant inventory overhang in the internet gaming space.

Growth estimates for the console market have been further moderated going forward. This is primarily due to the fact that Sony‘s PS2 console is expected to be phased out in India this year and upsides from attach growth in PSP, PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 sales will only partially offset PS2 sales. A fall in software sales earlier associated with PS2 consoles will also impact the market.

Consequently, the overall market is likely to grow at a 19 per cent CAGR to reach Rs 19 billion by 2017. For the console segment, a lot will depend on how the PS4 launch fares in India and how quickly the gaming experience on mobiles and tablets comes closer.

Overall the gaming industry in India grew 16 per cent over last year and is expected to grow at a 22 per cent CAGR to reach Rs 42 bn by 2017.

Mobile Gaming: This category continued to see sustained growth in smartphone and tablet device penetration, and regular uptake of gaming content.

IAMAI estimates that nearly 50 per cent of mobile users regularly access gaming content. Although telecom operators such as Vodafone are increasingly recognising the importance of developing a vibrant gaming ecosystem on-deck and are rationalising revenue share terms (now offer 70 per cent revenue shares to several large publishers), the off-deck segment is expected to eclipse the on-deck segment in value terms by 2014.

Monetisation currently remains a challenge for Indian publishers, as the majority of game downloads are ad-funded. However, given that most Indian smartphone users have access to content published by global content providers and the fact that the gaming universe is highly fragmented, the spend gets spread across a large number of developers and private publishers.

PC and TV Gaming: The PC gaming market grew nominally over this period consistent with last year‘s report. It is not expected to be a significant contributor to growth over the coming years.

While the TV gaming is a relatively small market, the segment holds some potential for growth going forward as digital cable operators attempt to offer compelling value added services to curb erosion in subscribers with the onset of mandatory digitisation. This is, however, expected to be largely a lower income audience.

Set top device functionality, currently a major bottleneck to delivery of quality gaming content, is also expected to improve over time, allowing providers to transmit richer, interactive content.

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