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National Video Game Day 2024 – The mainstream breakthrough of Indian esports and Olympics aspirations

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The video gaming and esports industry in India has witnessed a meteoric rise in the last few years. With a rapidly growing audience and player base, the industry has commanded attention from brands and investors alike.

According to a FICCI-EY report, total esports tournament participation is projected to reach 2.5 million participants across various titles, compared to 1.79 million in 2023. Additionally, airtime for esports broadcasts is set to increase to 8,000 hours from 6,500 in 2023, with a rising average minute audience.

Tournaments such as the Battlegrounds Mobile India Masters Series (BGMS) have recently announced their third straight season being broadcast on a mainstream sporting network, changing the way esports is consumed and marking a significant milestone in the sector’s acceptance. India’s participation in major multi-sport tournaments such as the Commonwealth Esports Championships 2022, where the nation’s DOTA 2 team won bronze, and the Asian Games 2022 where esports debuted as a full-fledged medal sport, has further validated its competitive stature.

While states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and others are undertaking various initiatives for the development of esports, the country’s honourable Prime Minister has also advocated for the growth of the sector. With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also set to discuss the creation of the Olympic Esports Games during the upcoming Paris Olympics, the future looks bright for esports in India.

Sharing his thoughts on the evolution of esports from a pastime hobby to a mainstream sport and form of entertainment, Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming stated, “More than a decade back, gaming was nothing but a hobby of a few passionate gamers, with small groups of them organising scattered community competitions across the country. We started NODWIN Gaming in 2014 to streamline esports in India with a vision to bring opportunities for video gaming enthusiasts throughout the country. Looking at the scenario today, we can indeed say India has come a long way. The industry has gained immense popularity and legitimacy among the masses, attracting interest from celebrities, brands, corporates and traditional sporting organisations alike. We will continue to contribute to this growing ecosystem and try to further shine the deserving limelight on gaming and esports. In the near future, we envision esports getting the same mantle as traditional sports, especially with the IOC announcing plans to create Olympic Esports Games and we, along with the Global Esports Federation, are honoured to work alongside the industry stakeholders to achieve that common vision!”

In addition to gamers and gaming creators, Indian game developers are also making significant strides with games inspired by the country’s rich culture and mythology. Games like ‘Ludo King’ which recently surpassed 1 billion downloads, and ‘Raji: An Ancient Epic’ exemplify this trend.

Another promising upcoming title that highlights the potential of homegrown developers is the Indo-futuristic ‘Indus Battle Royale’. Developed by Pune-based SuperGaming, the game has recently surpassed 11 million pre-registrations.

“Over the past decade, India’s gaming industry has transformed from a niche pastime into a mainstream entertainment medium. The surge in mobile gaming, fueled by the high number of smartphone users in the country, has made gaming more accessible to a wider audience, driving the industry’s growth. The creativity and innovation brought in by Indian game developers have produced unique and culturally rich gaming experiences, earning international recognition that has placed India firmly on the global gaming map,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming.

Despite India being predominantly a mobile-first gaming nation due to high data penetration and affordable smartphones, there has been a noticeable surge in interest in PC gaming. Beyond hardcore gamers, PCs are increasingly utilized by gaming creators and streamers for content creation and editing. The rise of the creator economy indirectly fuels the growth of the gaming PC ecosystem in India.

Recent data from Valve highlights that Asia, including India, is one of the fastest-growing regions for Steam users, with a more than 150% increase in new users from 2019 to 2024. CyberpowerPC, the Number 1 Gaming PC manufacturing brand in North America which recently forayed into the Indian market promises to cater to this growing demand and create an overall thriving ecosystem that caters to diverse gaming preferences.

Highlighting the factors that will accelerate the rise of PC gaming in the country, Vishal Parekh, Chief Operating Officer, CyberPowerPC India said, “The growth of gaming in India, evolving from arcades and gaming cafes to an official sport, is remarkable. While mobile serves as an entry point for gamers entering the ecosystem, the shift towards more immersive experiences on larger screens is becoming inevitable. Additionally, PC-based esports titles prominently featured in major sporting tournaments highlight the importance of gaming PCs for grassroots development and achieving success in these events. At CyberPowerPC, we are excited to support the country’s growing PC gaming community and give them an immersive experience along with a competitive edge.”

Another monumental trend catapulting video gaming into the mainstream is leading streaming and social media platforms increasingly embracing gamification as a strategy to engage users and attract new audiences. Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Google Pay, Zomato, and LinkedIn have all integrated gamification features to tap into a massive and engaged audience.

“I have been a part of the gaming and esports industry for over a decade and it is fascinating to see how the industry has evolved and grown over these years. For example, esports was a niche, limited to a few people and now it is on its way to be integrated as a new-age sport. Today, gamers of all ages and backgrounds have become active contributors to the sector’s growth, and it is amazing to see how gaming has cemented its place in mainstream culture. Through movies, TV series adaptations and gamification via social media platforms, delivery apps as well as streaming platforms, it has become an integral part of our everyday lives, which was almost unimaginable till a few years back. This momentum is only going to grow, and the future of gaming in India looks incredibly bright. Max Level is committed to contributing to this growth and taking gaming to new heights across the nation,” noted Siddharth Nayyar, Co-founder and CRO, Max Level.

Without a doubt, the video gaming sector in India is on an upward trajectory, and looking ahead, the sky’s the limit!

Asia

AFK Gaming announces India’s first-ever premium insights dashboard for esports analytics

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In a bid to provide authentic data and unparalleled insights into the nation’s esports industry, AFK Gaming has announced the beta launch of ‘AFK Gaming Insights’, India’s first-ever premium analytics dashboard.

This first-of-its-kind powerful tool offers real-time data and analytics to help users, brands and other stakeholders make informed decisions and stay ahead in the esports landscape of the country.

AFK Gaming Insights features three core analytics modules:
Tournaments Analytics: Access detailed information on prize pools, sponsors, players, teams, and more. This module provides a comprehensive view of the financial and competitive aspects of esports tournaments, enabling users to strategize effectively.

User Analytics: Discover valuable insights into demographics, occupations, interests, income ranges, spending habits, and more. This data helps users understand the diverse backgrounds and behaviours of the Indian gaming community, facilitating targeted marketing and engagement efforts.
Social Analytics: Track key metrics such as Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, and the country’s top live streamers.

Expressing his enthusiasm on the beta launch of AFK Gaming Insights, Nishant Patel, Co-founder and CEO of AFK Gaming stated, “AFK Gaming Insights is a product built to address a critical market need. In the absence of reliable data to aid their decision making, key stakeholders in the Indian gaming, esports and youth culture industries have been struggling to make informed decisions. With this launch, we hope to empower tournament organizers, brand managers, team owners and industry observers with a single source of truth that they can turn to for industry knowledge and information that will drive the sector’s growth as a whole.”

According to a report by Niko Partners, India is the fastest-growing gaming market, with over 450 million gamers and more than USD 830 million revenue generated in 2023. This expansive market requires a platform that enables stakeholders and brands to access insights on the go and use these metrics for their engagement and campaigns.

To address this, AFK Gaming Insights, which will be available exclusively to annual subscribers, has been devised to cater to a diverse spectrum of users. For newcomers, the dashboard serves as an entry point, providing information that helps them understand trends, player performances and tournament dynamics.

Gamers can optimise their strategies and refine their performances while hardcore audiences will benefit from the deeper insights on their favourite gamers and teams’ social media engagements, viewerships and tournament statistics. For example, the tool reveals that Total Gaming is currently the most viewed Indian gaming YouTuber, with an average of 4.25 million views per video over the last month.

On the other hand, industry stakeholders can leverage detailed analytics into market trends, audience behaviours and sponsorship opportunities to make strategic decisions. For instance, the dashboard uncovers significant trends, such as the fact that more Indian gamers spend money on a daily basis rather than not spending at all.

This pioneering platform promises to redefine the analysis of competitive gaming and change the way esports is perceived in the country.

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Asia

Gen.G Launches Official 2024 Summer Jersey with LIBILLY

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Global esports organisation Gen.G announced their newest apparel collaboration with LIBILLY, a Seoul streetwear culture-based brand led by rapper Changmo. The “2024 Gen.G x LIBILLY Collection” represents icons of youth and passion in cross-cultural scenes; the two brands are teaming up to promote K-culture worldwide, beyond Korea’s domestic stage.

“Every year, we are proud that we get to be a part of some of the biggest esports moments in the world. This year, we are excited to partner with Changmo and the team at LIBILLY to introduce a new kit during such a historic season,” Arnold Hur, CEO of Gen.G Esports, said.

The new collection with LIBILLY consists of six pieces, including the official jersey and jacket as well as short-sleeved t-shirts, sweatshirts and ball caps featuring both organisations’ logos. The official jersey, accented in Gen.G’s signature gold colour, is designed to be breathable and comfortable for both players and fans to wear. Gen.G’s iconic slogan “Change the Game” is printed on it to encourage fans to collect. LIBILLY is the latest in a series of successful lifestyle collaborations for Gen.G, with brands like The Hundreds, PUMA and Heron Preston in past years.

The lifestyle apparel features a mashup of Gen.G adorable mascot “Genrang” wearing clothes with LIBILLY’s symbol “031” logo, among other cobranded apparel items. Images of the Gen.G League of Legends team, currently competing in Riyadh for the 2024 Esports World Cup, have captured the hearts and minds of fans since they first leaked.

“I’m excited to wear new uniforms this season through our collaboration with the hip and young brand LIBILLY. It was fun to try out and shoot content in a different look than we did before, so I hope the fans enjoy it as much as we enjoyed this process,” said Gen.G’s Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Gen.G, a representative of the esports scene. We hope that this collection, which reinterprets the passionate brand image of Gen.G from our perspective and expresses it in a new dimension, will be a meaningful gift to Gen.G fans around the world. We also look forward to the various collaborative activities that Gen.G and LIBILLY will continue to launch,” said rapper Changmo, head of LIBILLY.

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Asia

FINAL CALL FOR ENTRIES FOR PAGCOR PHOTO CONTEST 2024

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With only three weeks left before the July 31 deadline, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation is calling all photography enthusiasts to submit their final entries for the 2024 PAGCOR Photography Contest with the theme, “Harvest Time”.

Interested amateur and professional photographers have until 10 p.m. on July 31 to submit their entries which should highlight the Filipino’s strength, patience and hard work during harvest season.

The images may also depict the dedication of farmers, fishers and other workers who help ensure the country’s food production and sustainability through the harvest of their crops and seafood products.

“We invite all those who have not yet submitted their entries to start uploading them now through the PAGCOR website as the submission deadline draws nearer,” PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said.

The PAGCOR chief said the agency has allocated a total of Php2.23 million for this year’s cash prizes to honor the outstanding work of Filipino photographers and to promote the country’s rich traditions.

The contest’s main categories are the Conventional Category for photos taken using all types of digital cameras; Mobile for entries taken using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets; and Drone – a newly added category – for aerial photos taken using drone-mounted cameras.

Each of the eight winners from the Conventional Category is ensured of a Php100,000.00 cash prize while each of the 16 winners from the drone and mobile categories will take home Php50,000.00 each,” Mr. Tengco said.

“We are also giving away Php35,000.00 to each of the eight consolation prize winners from the Conventional Category and Php20,000.00 to each of the 16 grand finalists from the Drone and Mobile categories,” the PAGCOR chief added.

PAGCOR has also lowered the age eligibility from 18 to 16 years old to encourage more participation, especially among the youth.

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