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Impact of COVID-19 on online gaming industry

The mobile gaming industry is only going to see a spike in these unpredictable times


The world is grappling with the fear of the global pandemic. With financial markets plummeting, the majority of countries under lockdown and a global recession looming, a wave of fear and anxiety is running through countries across the globe. While the dire consequences are visible, it is still too early to measure the impact of the pandemic. But, if the situation persists, the impact it leaves would be immeasurable and catastrophic. 

Of course, the situation remains unpredictable given the current circumstances. But humans have always adapted to whatever situations they are put in and that’s how our race has survived. The very spirit remains undaunted and has to, no matter what. We always found ways to adjust to the harshest of conditions and overcome it all. And as we know, there are people posting hilarious videos of them dancing or singing on social channels while being at home and inspiring millions. The key here is self-motivation and keeping oneself upbeat. You have to go on, live on even if you can’t step out. 

The impact 

The online gaming industry is no different. In the times of lockdown, many people are spending hours playing their favourite games online not because they are obsessed with it, but gaming helps reduce stress and anxiety, something people need the most right now. For all we know, the mobile gaming industry is only going to see a spike in these unpredictable times and more people are going to play games of skill. Rummy, for instance, is one card game that requires immense focus and uninterrupted attention. A veritable source of entertainment and earning money as well, online rummy has seen a staggering growth in the country. 

Every Indian family has a good number of memories of playing traditional card games like rummy with loved ones at family gatherings. Mobile rummy industry tapped into this very cultural relevance and digitisation of rummy further, giving  enthusiasts a platform to play their favourite game anytime, anywhere, in addition to earning real cash rewards. The daily tournaments are enough to keep the levels of excitement high for anyone. 

What glorifies the online version of rummy is the ease of it as it doesn’t require finding someone to play with. One can find multiple players online and even enjoy a game with friends or family. Card games like online rummy are only going to see more people jumping into the bandwagon and will emerge out to be immensely popular during the present crisis. The idea of being able to play and cheer yourself up while alone at home or enjoy a game with friends and family even if you can’t meet them in person is great.

Let’s explore numbers

With the growing penetration of smartphones and affordable data packs, the number of people playing mobile games is also rising. Thanks to the easy accessibility to low-cost resources, the expansion rate will be even higher in times to come. According to a study by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India and PwC, the number of smartphone users in India is expected to rise to 859 million by 2022, a growth of 84 per cent from 468 million in 2017. 

The digital revolution has sure helped pave way for the rapid growth of the online gaming industry. Additionally, the availability of popular traditional games online has contributed to the way players consume their favourite games. The number of online gamers in India is expected to be 310 million by 2021, according to a report by Google-KPMG. One can well imagine the scope of growth, online game developers have in the country. 

Summing it all up

With people looking for recreational activities in the times of lockdown, an already existing potential market is further expected to grow exponentially. Owing to a steady rise in consumption volumes, online gaming will witness an ecosystem of engaged gamers, creative designers and developers with a good amount of investments pouring into the industry and production of locally themed games. 

(The author is head of marketing, Adda52Rummy. The views expressed are his own and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.)

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