Covid-19 and its repercussions have shifted our lives online, from office work to entertainment – computer screens have become personal companions unwittingly. Now, with the onset of festive season under social distancing, traditional festivities are being virtually celebrated. Favorite Diwali games – Teen Patti, Rummy and even Tambola can now be enjoyed with the same excitement and in company of friends and family while maintaining social distancing norms. As the festival demands social gatherings and get-togethers, online gaming platforms are creating a huge delight for families to celebrate the rituals together while being healthy and safe.
The rapid evolution and increasing popularity of online games especially in times of COVID-19, as an exciting alternative for entertainment has resulted in creation of multiple online platforms thus, giving a whole new boost to the gaming ecosystem within the Indian economy. According to Google-KMPG report, the Indian online gaming industry is growing at an exponential rate year upon year and is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2021. Furthermore, as online gaming is becoming an important source of social engagement, revenue generation through taxes and triggering an influx of employment opportunities because of high-speed internet and smartphones explosion, there is no doubt that this space has a potential to gain a strong foothold within the Indian economy.
Commenting on the exponential growth of the online gaming ecosystem, Saurabh Aggarwal, CEO, Octro Inc. mentioned, “As the impact of the COVID-19 continues, online gaming industry has been witnessing huge uptake in the number of its userbase as those confined within their houses have sought respite in the virtual world for entertainment. Thanks to the power of internet and technology which has helped changed the Indian online gaming industry and has made traditional games more accessible. With festivities around the corner, online gaming will become an important aspect of social engagement as everyone will be expected to follow the government norms of social distancing.”
The massive growth in the gaming sector has created immense job opportunities among youths, thus, giving a much-needed boost to the gaming ecosystem within the country. Considering the array of opportunities that skill-based games bring to the country, contemplating ban on such a booming sector is unfitting. Hence, there is a dire need to formulate or introduce robust regulations for licensing regime to make sure transparent online activities are monitored. A legalised online gaming set-up will encourage growth in revenue channel for governments. Considering the exponential growth in the number of online gamers, it can be a sustainable source of revenue.
“Predictable regulatory regime paves the way for scalable investments in gaming startup ecosystem. These investments in gaming startups are good for economy at large and for entire internet ecosystem. Made in India Games have potential to compete globally and acquire players across the world. Active and prospective regulation around skill based games would ensure that venture funded companies acquire scale while employing more people and contributing to more taxes. At Octro we are committed to fair game play and law of the land ” Saurabh Aggarwal further added.
As a silver lining to the Covid-19 infused lockdown, Indian online gaming has surged to new highs and especially in the real money gaming sector where friends and family enjoy a game of fantasy cricket or Rummy while staying indoors. However, fun can remain harmless and legit till it is played with rules and responsibly. It is important to set boundaries while gaming, and one should not go beyond a time frame and only play for leisure. Online gaming oblivion is not just unhealthy but also a disservice to an innocuous game which is only meant for entertainment.