Esports: Indian eSports industry with games like PUBG Mobile, COD Mobile, Fortnite and mobile apps like Winzo have seen a rise in the number of players since lockdown was imposed. Many app owners have also vouched they have garnered as much as 3 times the usual traffic just in the initial week of lockdown, that was back in March 2020. Nine months after the lockdown, the numbers are only increasing by the day.
While the user base of already established apps increased in the initial stages of lockdown in India International games like Houseparty, which is essentially an interactive way for people to interact with each other through an online platform, play games and video chat made its way into the country, only to have thousands engage the app. However, what stayed as a constant table-topper was the battle royale format– PUBG Mobile and COD Mobile in India. PUBG Mobile accounted for almost 50 millions users a month and CODM, and Fortnite accounted for over 10 million users a month.
With a rise in the number of video game players and an ecosystem of eSports being created in the country, opening eSports platforms for gaming and organizing tournaments only made eSports more approachable to people. Just a device and a team and you were set to compete in a match. One such platform has been EWar Games that was founded in 2019 by Parth Chadha and has just raised its second round of funding. EWar Games is one of the few vernacular gaming platforms in India, which is being used by gamers to play games and at the same time stream them, interact, watch the streamed content, earn virtual or real money (while playing), and so on.
EWar Games now also focuses on the competitive form of sporting that will have a host of games like PUBGM, CODM, and would feature popular content creators like Owais, Scout, etc.
The organisation of all this requires capital and Parth Chadha says, “We at EWar are on a mission to take esports in India to much bigger and better levels, and help the industry grow equivalent to the remarkable position it holds globally.”
“Our start-up is leveraging a combination of vernacularity, game streaming, casual gaming, hardcore gaming, game tournaments’ hosting as well as our internal in-house game development competency, which are some of the key factors that have led a pool of investors to instate solid faith in us,” Chadha adds.
With the rates and numbers at which people are moving online, it is only a matter of a few months now, that the eSports industry will become a $1.1 billion industry, as reports by Google-KPMG suggest, which would be a whopping 41% increase from where it stands right now.
Needless to say, PUBG ban has affected the industry at a very large scale but platforms like EWar Games or Let’s Game Now, owned by Santanu Basu, are finding ways to engage the audience that has nowhere to go, now that chances of PUBGM India going online have turned bleak. However, Santanu, a seasoned eSports athlete himself understands the struggles of a new player. Basu is one of the few professional FIFA video game players to have played on a global platform.
Basu emphasises the sole reason he got into the concept of making a gaming platform was to promote eSports in the country. “PUBGM just happens to be the most popular one in the country,” he says.
“People are growing to watch other games as well. Our other events have had fair popularity, as well. To be honest, if one game is banned, people will move on to another game,” he adds, emphasising that change is the only constant.
Apps like WinZo that are not necessarily eSport apps, but have an online gaming presence saw a surge in users by 30% just at the advent of the lockdown and Paavan Nanda, the co-founder of the app says it has only grown by the hour ever since. Nanda also says that multiplayer formats like Ludo, Carrom and Battle Royale saw a surge in users by 60%, and says people enjoy multiplayer formats with their family and friends.
Change is the only constant, and the future of gaming is more online if one is to believe the trends.
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