India’s mobile gaming market is huge. Not only compared to PC and console gaming; It’s big, period. Battleground Mobile India, the new avatar of PUBG Mobile, had 100 million registered users in India before it was mysteriously banned last month. Ludo King has hit over 500 million downloads since the pandemic hit.
Clearly, the small screen gaming opportunities in India are huge, with studios both Indian and overseas showing interest in entering a market that is ripe for a classically ad-dominated business model. But game studios operating in India are turning to a more lucrative prospect: developing mobile games in India for a global audience.
“We have about 70% of our employees working on about ten to 15 games that are primarily aimed at a global audience,” said Kishor Kichili, India’s head of Zynga, owned by Take Two Interactive. Entrackr in an interview. Zynga has a significant presence in India, and has recently released two games in collaboration with the Indian government to mark the 75th year of independence celebrations.
Still, Kichili insisted, Zynga’s Bengaluru office was focused on introducing game development from Indian talent, which could be marketed globally.
Zynga is not alone. Ludo King developer Gametian said in a blog post that Indians were not alone in helping the company break download records. “The game not only attracted more native Indian players but also gathered an expanded player base in American and European countries,” Gametian said in a May blog post. While the studio does not disclose a breakdown of downloads by countries, it said that the game’s astonishing success took it “to places where even the Ludo game was not known.”
There is a need to differentiate between game studios outsourcing to India and those actually creating new games from India. For example, developers such as Electronic Arts and Rockstar Studios have a significant presence in India, but they generally do not work on titles that are conceived and executed by Indian teams. These teams usually perform manpower-intensive and time-consuming tasks such as handling quality control and development tasks that the core teams cannot handle.
But now, studios are gearing up to release original material to build on this presence, which is for lack of a better word made in India.
At least one developer jumped at the opportunity long ago – Pune-based startup Super Gaming released a game that enjoyed decent success overseas before becoming a well-known name in India. MaskGun, a first-person shooter game developed by Super Gaming, was able to garner 42 million installations, of which came from international audiences until PUBG was first banned.
The focus overseas makes sense — while developers can gain massive reach in India, the majority of users in India don’t spend on games, meaning studios are limited by advertising revenue from them, Zynga’s Kichili pointed out. Meanwhile, he said, talent is in good supply in India to develop these sports.
Support from the government has also slowly started pouring in – the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting set up the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) task force in April, in discussions with game developers to create Indian stories. Used to be. global audience. Kichili is part of that task force.
“It would be in our best interest to have them” [Indian] Concept and build a game for a bigger platform, and maybe localize it for each part of the world,” Kichili said.