Gaming is one of the sectors that have been booming since the pandemic-driven lockdown. With schools and businesses operating from home, it also paved the way for online gaming as a way to unwind for many. A report suggests that telcos including Jio and Airtel are planning to capitalize on the booming gaming industry.
Online Gaming Boost
According to a report by BofA Securities, the gaming sector is booming now, thanks to the large Millennial and Gen Z base. Particularly in India, a few games witness a massive surge. Games like Ludo King boomed with a 142 percent jump in downloads between February and April. There was also a 200 percent rise in the user base on Paytm First Games, where users spent roughly 30 minutes a day.
The report further hints that India's gaming user base will peak 486 million by 2022 from 365 million in 2019 and 409 million (estimated) in 2020. BofA further notes that millions of Indians are already spending 662 million hours collectively on a mobile gaming platform, creating a target audience in itself.
Gaming Boom Advantage For Jio, Airtel
The boom in online gaming is going to further help telcos in India, especially Reliance Jio and Airtel. The BofA report notes that both Jio and Airtel are building an ecosystem to cash on it. One way of doing this is to tie-up with gaming companies.
"Rather than being just the pipe, telcos like Jio (Reliance Industries-owned) and Bharti Airtel are focusing on gaming as an incremental source of ad/subscription revenue. In fact, RIL believes that gaming in India will be bigger than music, movies, and television shows put together," the report says.
As India further ventures into 5G and fixed broadband, cloud gaming is also expected to boom, another advantage for the telcos. The current scenario is focused mainly on mobile gaming, but that's bound to change as games requiring high bandwidth get popular. Again, this is where telcos are aiming to reap benefits.
"But they are looking to eliminate the need for hardware (as it limits addressable market) and instead offer games on Pay TV Set-top box. We find current strategies of Jio & Bharti towards gaming different. While Jio is offering more casual games, Bharti appears more focused on e-sports," BofA reports.