Emerging Markets: India
India has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but what role does gaming play in the lives of its vast emerging middle-class? The rapid spread of 3G wireless technology across India was one of the most quietly significant stories of last year. India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, supported by 1.2 billion people who had no consistent access to affordable broadband internet until a little over 12 months ago. In 2010, wired broadband connections reached less than 1 per cent of that vast population – 3G connections surpassed that within the first few months.
This is the first paragraph of an article found on Gamesindustry.biz. It contains some interesting insights that fit the consumer and business insights focus of our blog. The article continues….
These are the very early days of India’s connected culture and business. Operator charges and Android handsets are still beyond the reach of a great swathe of the population, but those costs are only coming down, and the GDP is only going up.
For Robin Alter, co-founder of the Mumbai-based developer Kreeda Games, it’s an important moment in the country’s economic development. Kreeda is now a game developer, but Alter and two colleagues started the company with an ambition to become India’s first MMO publisher. He had travelled widely in Asia working in IPTV and contracting for companies like IBM. He had seen the rapid growth of online gaming in China and South Korea, but India was lagging behind. The internet was too expensive and too scarce for that kind of online gaming to be a viable business, but it was 2005 and every analyst foresaw an imminent explosion in broadband connectivity.
“I’m absolutely sure that India is the next frontier for many gaming companies. India is still untapped”
Robin Alter, Kreeda Games
“But that didn’t happen,” he says, “It was a good bet. The problem was that PCs and broadband just weren’t hefty enough… It’s basically happening now with 3G. Combined with the proliferation of cheap smartphones, it is an unprecedented degree of connectivity.”
Alter puts the number of smartphones in the country at 30 million, but the number of people with active mobile phones is on the far side of 800 million. Smartphone penetration doubled last year, but Alter expects it to go “much, much faster now.” That means the rise of social networking, more refined and secure e-commerce, and, of course, the emergence of a huge market for videogames.
“I’m absolutely sure that India is the next frontier for many gaming companies. India as well as Brazil. But Brazil has had a lot of interest and done very well in the last few years. India is still untapped.”
Read the full article on Gamesindustry.biz.