Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Game On

Microsoft launched its new XBox in India. The grey market is already flooded with host of game console devices. You name it and you'll find it. PSP, Nintendo, XBox, Sega, Evo, Genesis are readily available at an unmatched price. The sixth generation consoles are ready to conquer the heart and soul of Indian Gen Z kids, their adolescent brothers, their 35+ fathers and their be-at-home-and-take-care-of-the-family grandpa's.

Sify launched the Game Drome (a decade ago it was their cyber cafes) a computer gaming zone across every city in the country. Game Mobile, an OOH promotional activity by Sify has taken Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi by storm. Before kids used to bunk schools and college for the latest movie show, now they drop their Organic chemistry class for an intense fight with Odysseus or Telemachus beautiful wife Penelope. MMORPG (Mom, My Online Role is Potty Greg) is a big hit in India now. Counter Strike, Ragnarok and the endless number of games, blogs, forums, discussion panels only points out that games are here to stay. A search at IDC, Info-shop will reveal numbers which will blow anyone's head. Of the 37 million internet users in India, 11% plays online game (not very good with numbers though).

Indeed, days have changed. I have came from a small < 1lakh population town to a big city to earn my daily bread. There was a time during our childhood days when we used to borrow Rs. 5 from dad and grandpa and sometimes employed elder cousin brothers to buy a Tennis Ball for a Saturday afternoon inter-para(neighbourhood) cricket match. Those were big events with all elderly, retired men from both the competing neighbourhood cheering, screaming, shouting and sometimes abusing (incase, the ball reached the boundary while trying a Jonty Rhodes stunt) for a three hour exciting extravaganza. Later, in the evening over a cup of tea heated discussion, crticial scrutiny and ball-by-ball projection of the next match used to keep people busy. As a big city dweller, only rational reason to console those bygone era is people in small town had nothing better to do then.

Theres only one question which is bugging me. Will Online game add up to the short-comings of India's search for real sports talent. We as a country are pathetic when it comes to sports. No matter how much we try to hype about our sports person the country has a serious shortage in supply of quality people. Cricket is niche, so kids from well-to-do families take it up as hobby. Do we have a national football team?? Hockey, well ... errr ... swimming, archery, athletics, kabadi ...

Don't worry, India Games is launching a new mobile football game in association with Airtel for all its mobile subscribers. So, go play!!

3 comments:

Manish said...

mind boggling statistics...and its not even part of the agency imagination, on the creative radar, in Brand Equity discussions!

Manish said...

mind boggling statistics...and it's not even there on the agency imagination, on the creative radar, in BE discussions

pooR_Planner said...

Manish,
A recent research by SF based Pearl Research forecasts India's online gaming industry will be more than $200 million by 2010. As per projections number of internet users will be 100 millions by 2008 making India the second largest market only after China in Asia. To top it call ... of the 2 million odd cyber cafes (both local and organised) in India will turn into game zones and derive 30 - 40% of their revenue from users playing games. Now thats mind-blowing.