India is the new gaming hotbed, packed with potential customers who are all desperate for more online gaming experiences.
While there are plenty of home-grown games development companies tapping into this rich market, there are of course global giants from the US, China, and beyond who also want a piece of the pie.
However, expanding into any new market is tricky, especially if you have to build a team from scratch.
Here are how tech and gaming firms from outside of India are maneuvering as quickly as possible, to put their games front and centre of Indian gamers’ eyeballs.
Going Mobile is Key
Most gaming firms are making sure that any game they create is mobile friendly.
This is because an estimated 85% of Indian gamers choose to play exclusively on mobile devices, which flies in the face of the global stat which stands at just 45%.
There is no doubt that part of the reason why PUBG developer, South Korean firm Krafton, were so quick to make sure that their PUBG Mobile game was free for players to use was knowing that in the long-term, Indian players would flock to the in-game store to purchase add-ons, special avatar skins and much more.
With such a hurried race going on for market share among tech giants, Indian mobile gamers will no doubt be the winners, with more great games being made free-to-play than ever before.
Harnessing the Pulling Power of Cricket and Bollywood Stars
While there is a growing appetite for online streaming and eSports stars in India, there is no doubt that the main celebrities in the world of entertainment are still those from cricket and Bollywood, with many having demi-god status among their millions of loyal fans.
It’s hardly a surprise that foreign companies have been scrambling to get cricket players like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, as well as actors such as Shah Rukh Khan, to come on board to promote their respective products.
Dhoni in particular has been active in the gaming sector, playing a part in a huge campaign run by PokerStars; his image assuring customers that the products they have are safe and secure, as well as allowing gamers to find everything they need to get started when playing new and exciting games. Meanwhile, Bollywood royalty Shah Rukh Khan has even been in the habit of promoting his upcoming movies with accompanying mobile games, a habit that goes back all the way to 2011 and which shows how far ahead of the curve he was. Dhoni followed suit with the mobile game that accompanied his 2016 biographical movie, Dhoni: The Untold Story.
Hiring Local Indian Talent Gives Products That Authentic Touch
While it is always nice to take your own people to help set up a new office or project, it usually pays off to have some local talent on the ground too.
That is why the regional offices of some big names in the sector have been opening in places like Delhi and Mumbai, so they can tap into a budding generation of programmers and developers.
Investing in or Taking Over Indian Games Developers is Ramping Up
While setting up shop in India is becoming commonplace for large tech corporations, there is another tactic that can be equally, if not more, cost-effective.
Many foreign conglomerates are now simply acquiring pre-existing Indian tech firms, knowing that they will hit the ground running from day one. The other tactic being used is to invest heavily in certain Indian start-ups, in the hope that profits will be reaped further down the line.
One thing is for sure, the gaming industry in India is only just getting started, and gamers everywhere will be in for a treat as a result. This trend will be only magnified by the growing access to mobile internet and inexpensive gaming-oriented devices that are flooding the markets right now. We only have to wait to see new titles that will conquer app stores, getting Indian gamers massively involved.