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Global pandemic induced lockdown sees surge in online gaming

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The online gaming industry hasn't been affected amid the global pandemic. In fact, they are one of the few industries to have seen more profit in these difficult times.

Youngsters and elderly people limited to their homes have been found using online gaming as a substitute for indoor gaming and other entertainment. Games which require more of the mind such as chess, rummy and fantasy sports have also seen a spike in engagement. 

However, since the restrictions have been lifted, the time spent on the consoles have dropped. Enthusiastic gamers from the rural parts of the country are also taking advantage of the situation. 

Santanu Basu the founder of Lets Game Now said, “Hardcore gamers, whether it is a pandemic or not, are going to play. Obviously, there have been extra users during the pandemic and it helped the gaming community in a way. 

“Earlier the internet issue was a major one but now high speeds are easily available. The future looks great for gamers,” he added.

However, the surge in users doesn’t necessarily mean that the future is already secured for the industry, as Trivikraman Thampy pointed out.

“While the lockdown increased usage and engagement, the long term impact is yet to be seen. The devastating economic impact is set to affect all consumptions, including transaction-based skill games. But the slow down is a blip that will disappear,” Trivikraman Thampy and Bhavin Pandya, founder of Games 24*7, told TOI.

“The pursuit of personalised entertainment, coupled with demographic tailwinds, smartphone penetration and low data prices, will continue to drive the skill-gaming industry to grow,” they added.

Fantasy games in India are now legally permitted as they are considered as skilled games. Thampy added, “a balanced regime will help protect the interest of the operators as well as the players and meet the government’s objectives. 

He added, “In future, we shall see the advent of more sports such as football, basketball, kabaddi that are already so popular in the west. The biggest reasons for the success of fantasy sports is that it allows cricket viewers a deeper way to engage with the game of cricket.”

Feature Image Courtesy: Remko de Waal / ANP / AFP

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