Games people play

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Gaming parlours attract both the young and the old

Hebbal, Bengaluru:  The culture of gaming is alien to India. The potential market for gaming has emerged over time and its growing popularity can be attributed to the new digital generation. In a country with burgeoning youth and middle class, more than 50 percent of the youngsters who fall in the age group of 18 to 35 constitute the target audience for gaming.

The industry really took off from around 25 companies developing games in 2010 to more than 250 game developers in 2015 that are largely focused  on the Indian market. The industry today is around $890 million in size as per Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) survey with at least two companies coming up every month and growing at around 30 per cent every year.

India has a gaming mindset which is waiting to explode. With over 54% of the Indian population below 25 years and having the world’s largest youth population – India is only getting younger.

Entertainment is a major industry on which Indian consumers are ready to spend. Internet usage has seen an upward swing in the last few years and the way ahead looks more promising.

Gaming parlor owners say the demand for certain games have gone up drastically when some of them saw a plunge in popularity. The owners of these parlors are particularly upset about how most popular games have high system requirement and how these keep changing each year needing greater investment in upgrades and licence fee. Parlor operators say frequent system upgrades is affecting their business. “I get requests from loyal customers to install a new game within days of its release, I get the DVDs on time but the  configuration and graphic requirements for these games today are very high and expensive”, said Syed Parvez  of CompuSeer Gaming Technologies in RT nagar.

CompuSeer charges ₹ 20-30 an hour of game play and comes with attractive packages with just ₹ 50 for three hours  for gamers who play for hours at a stretch .

For single-player gamers the demand is clearly dropping and customers at these parlors have thinned drastically in recent times. The primary reason being most gamers are able to afford personal computers at home and these games do not require high system configurations or constant upgrades.

“I go to gaming parlors not just to play online games like my favourite The World of Warcraft ,I also get a chance to socialize with the local gaming community which I cannot do if I stay at home”says Shahan, a gaming enthusiast.

Indiranagar and Koramangala have the highest number of such gaming centres in the city with players like Zapak  and NVIDIA establishing their centres.

Abdul Azeez Zain

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