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Is Indian Esports Future in Mobile Gaming?

Remember when we used to play the renowned ‘Snake’ game on our Nokia phones back in the 1990s? The mobile gaming industry in India has come a long way and evolved a lot over the years, from black-and-white mobile screen-based elementary video games like Snake to Java games like Spiderman, Tanks Pro, and so on, to more high-end graphics games like Candy Crush, Temple Run, Prince of Persia, FIFA, and so on.

The mobile gaming market in India has benefited greatly and grown steadily with the advent of Android OS and a wide range of Android devices. Apart from low-cost smartphone penetration, increased digital acceptance among the youth, continual technological improvements, and the data revolution are all essential reasons that have contributed significantly to the rise of mobile World777 gaming in India (super-cheap data and Internet connectivity pioneered by Jio and other telecom providers).

Esports

Hyper Casual/casual or fun games were significantly more popular among India’s mobile gaming fans till about five years ago. However, the launch of PUBG Mobile in India (around March 2018) completely upended the ecosystem. The beloved Battle-Royale game PUBG, with its enriching gameplay experience that was supported even in lower-range or mid-range smartphones, took the love for esports (especially Multiplayer Online Battle Arena or MOBA games) in India to a whole new level, and PUBG Mobile eventually became a “smash hit” and went on to become one of the most-downloaded and most-played mobile games in India in 2018 and 2019.

Some Best Esports Games in India

Even after the Indian government banned PUBG in 2020 due to data security concerns, the fledgling esports-loving mobile gaming community in India continued to develop exponentially, with most of them moving on to other fight games such as World777 Fantasy games, Garena Free Fire, Call of Duty, and so on.

The Covid-19 pandemic has recently boosted the growing demand and popularity of mobile gaming and esports.

We’ve recently noticed a massive increase in the amount of young people who have made the leap from casual and/or amateur mobile gamers to hardcore or midcore professional real-money gamers and/or game streams. There has also been a significant transition away from hyper casual games like Ludo and others and toward MOBAs, real-money games, and esports.

Popular players/stakeholders in the global gaming industry, including both Indian and international firms, have already begun investing extensively in India’s developing mobile gaming and e-sports segments.

For example, by appearing on mobile, globally successful games like Fortnite and Minecraft (which were previously popular primarily on PCs) were able to expand their audience reach and distribution. Apex Legends, a popular PC game, has announced that its beta mobile version will be released in India.

Even Indian players/companies are not lagging behind in any way; Qualcomm has announced the start of a year-long collaboration with Jio Games for their Esports Platform effort. Whether it’s Coca-Cola, Oppo, OnePlus, or Airtel, Indian businesses have discovered a new potential in e-sports and are devising novel ways to promote and use our country’s mobile-centric e-sports and competitive gaming ecosystem.

Final Thoughts About Esports

Without a question, esports will be the “next big thing” not only for India’s mobile gaming industry, but for the entire online gaming ecosystem. The best part is that, with the availability and accessibility of pocket-friendly smartphones and gaming devices/hardware, as well as e-sports live streaming on mobile devices becoming easier than ever before, even an aspiring gamer from a Tier III or Tier IV town in India can rise to fame and leave a legacy in the world of e-sports if he or she acquires the right set of skills and puts in long-term efforts.

In short, the rise of mobile gaming has greatly democratized e-sports and will continue to do so in the near future. With constant advancements and concentrated and collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, mobile gaming – which already dominates the Indian gaming market – can surely play a bigger role and become a significant enabler and catalyst behind the potential future of esports in India.