The global online gaming and e-sports industry has reached a tipping point in popularity. With more than one billion PC gamers worldwide, the industry has evolved from a niche community connecting and playing at local LAN parties, to filling out stadiums via competitive platforms such as Intel Extreme Masters and ESL One, which are viewed by millions. In India, the industry has come full circle with PC gaming taking centre stage yet again. With the world’s largest youth population, India is one of the fastest growing gaming markets globally. A recent KPMG report predicts online gaming revenue will touch 11,900 crore by 2023. It also states that the number of game developing firms in the country have increased ten-fold from 25 in 2010 to 250 in 2018.

Leveling up

Gamers today span all income levels and demographics. Female gamers are making their mark and enthusiasts are no longer limited to tier I cities. From a technology innovation point of view, this has translated into bulky muscle books and enthusiast towers giving way to more compact, multi-purpose, next generation devices. Performance and technology innovation are two of the biggest factors driving gaming device purchases today. About 50% of the global gaming community wants their PCs to support both everyday computing needs and gaming performance. Similarly, gaming content is changing and growing. The industry has evolved to include more up-and-coming developers and gamers. More people are connecting through gaming with online play and streaming. Gaming is helping people build relationships and make friends online, empowering their voices in a way that has not been possible before. Over time, we’re looking at a wider breadth of titles coming into play via local organization.

As the demands of gamers continue to evolve, so will the opportunities for technology innovation to elevate PC gaming for the community, including enabling overclocking, multi-tasking and better performance so consumers can game, use VR, stream, create content and more all at once.

Opening up opportunities

The youth today are not shying away from experimenting with career options. A career in gaming is one such option. In the last decade or so, there has been rising demand for professionals in this field, from artists to programmers to designers to audio engineers and lately gaming app developers. There are many more exciting jobs emerging, which are not just about being in front of the screen but about developing the whole gaming ecosystem behind gaming screens and in the cloud. The number of professional e-sports athletes and streamers in India are also on the rise. Professional gaming tournaments have taken centre stage in the past few years with prize pools running in the millions and a loyal audience who travel halfway across the globe to watch their teams play. At the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2019, the prize pool was $1 million.

Large screens, immersive experiences

The prospects of the gaming industry look bright with the inclusion of e-sports at the Asian Games. E-sports is taking over stadiums, quickly surpassing many other sports in terms of viewership and investment. Gamers are highly engaged, enthusiastic about their technology, and continuously seeking bigger and better experiences. Emerging markets specifically represent a huge opportunity for large screen consumption. Changes in both consumer expectations and a plethora of new computing devices is driving a transformation in the industry, led by growth in categories such as gaming and content creation PCs.

Prakash Mallya is vice-president and managing director, sales and marketing group, Intel India

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