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GEMS: Psyche of Indian gamer

The gamers are majorly young and male till now

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KOLKATA: With a spurt in consumption during the lockdown, gaming is projected to only grow further. Although the gamers are majorly young and male till now, the users are gradually emerging across demographics.

While a story of the rapid surge in online gaming is playing out, there are certain areas which need to be looked at more carefully. Google Play India business development manager Sharan Tulsiani shared insights on the ecosystem to fill the gaps in understanding.

Who are the gamers? How they discover content?

It is a cliché but the rapid expansion in smartphone adaptation, mobile broadband has definitely led the industry to maturation. At the same time, 70 per cent of users with devices with more than two gb ram, sharp fall in data cost, higher usage of UPI payment methods have also played a major role, Tulsani elaborated.

Citing a survey conducted by Google, he added that 62 per cent of Indian gamers are of 18-25 years age group, 64 per cent are male, 65 per cent are single and 45 per cent are students. The demographic ratio is almost similar for the game buyers. 18-24 years age group accounts for 67 per cent and males account for 72 per cent of buyers.

Read more about Gaming industry

For the discovery of new games, Tulsiani stated that the play store has emerged as the most important source for users, YouTube social media networks being other important channels. The users go to the play store for ratings, reviews and access videos on YouTube to understand graphics. However, Indians prefer to watch local influencer videos rather than global ones.  Word of mouth is also a very strong source as Indian games are far younger compared to other parts of the world and hence more impressionable.

“Consumers are hungry for quality content. They also look at gaming as aspirational recreation. Thus when it comes to the functional reason behind gaming, the storyline, game design, graphics are super important for selection,” he added.

Moreover, building social experiences and community management is critical to retaining users as well. He said that social experience needs to be part of core UX. Along with plain multiplayer experience, leaderboards and asynchronous multiplayer allow interaction too. He also added that audio and video chat while playing are very popular in India.

Developers also need to take note of the barriers to payments. 63 per cent payment related issues are caused by lack of awareness, concerns over personal information sharing. As a solution to this, Tulsiani suggested that simple measures like a visual guide for users on how to make payments. He further added that simple in-game or social media banners go help in closing the awareness gap.

However, the awareness gap is not the only reason to prevent gamers from paying for games. 57 per cent of users lack value perception, which stood out as another reason. Some of them are worried about spending more money than the planned budget, many others want to want for a discount or sale. More significantly few gamers feel it is not worthy to spend money on.  

According to Tulsiani, lowering the price point is not sufficient enough to convert them as paid users. As Indian consumers are value-sensitive, creating clear value for in-game items and the economy is a necessity. In addition to that, the primary aim should be converting “never spenders”.

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