1 in 4 gamers in India mull full-time career option: Study

NEW DELHI: The rise of gaming culture in India couldn’t have been expressed better perhaps when Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned popular mobile game ‘PUBG’ in his radio talk show ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

This culture continues to pervade, according to the latest ‘State of Online Gaming’ research report by Limelight Networks, a leading provider of edge cloud services, on worldwide consumers’ gaming behaviours and expectations.

The global study revealed that Indian gamers are spending nearly seven hours each week playing online games. 23.4 percent of them play for more than seven hours each week, with 11.4 percent playing more than 12 hours a week.

The adverse impact of the trend is that the time spent playing games has interfered with their lifestyle, social activities and even career aspirations which include food, health, well-being and relationships. 45 percent of Indian gamers admitted that they have missed sleep to play; 37 percent skipped a meal and 35 percent missed out on spending time with friends or going on a date.

India has the highest percentage, i.e. 49.2 percent of gamers worldwide and 24.2% percent of them are aspiring to become full-time, professional gamers by going to the extent of missing work or quitting jobs as well.

Compared with gaming consoles, computers, and tablets, mobile phones remain the most popular device for gameplay in India, a consistent preference across the world. Computers and tablets are also widely used in India more than any other country.

Additional insights from the report include:

a) Indians prefer to download their games: Downloading remains the common method of acquiring video games across the world. 74.6 percent of Indian gamers prefer to download their games, as compared to buying or renting a physical copy. Trading games with other players continues to experience popularity in India at 4.4 percent, higher than the U.K. and U.S.

b) Game download speed is still an issue: Over 90 percent of Indian gamers find the process of downloading video games frustrating. Whilst the length of time it takes to download games was noted to be a top issue globally at 33.8 percent, Indian gamers find that interruption to the download process is their top frustration at 38.2 percent.

c) Performance matters: Performance is the most important consideration for Indian gamers and how fast the game loads has the greatest impact on their experience. Ease of gameplay, storyline, and the ability to play offline are secondary considerations.

Limelight Networks India head Ashwin Rao said: “The global gaming industry has evolved brilliantly, giving gamers increased access to a variety of video and mobile games. To support the continued growth of the gaming industry, game operators need to evaluate the state of their content delivery platform to overcome the challenges of latency, especially for online games. With the technologies available, there are opportunities to optimise download process and loading speed to provide gamers with the best online gaming experience.”

The State of Online Gaming report is based on responses from 4,500 consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States aged 18 and above who play video games at least once a week.