INDIA: Following the ban of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG Mobile) in 2020, Indian game developers have been working hard to fill the void left by the popular game.
Pune-based SuperGaming, with other firms, such as Mobile Premier League’s Mayhem Studios, is set to release similar game called Indus Battle Royale, which requires hefty investments in game development.
Indian firms have often avoided this type of investment in the past, but the rise of gaming as a career has led to more talent and expertise in the industry.
The rise of individuals picking gaming as a career option has also attracted global game publishers like Ubisoft and Rockstar Games to set up units in India, leading to the development of what is known as “AAA games” in the industry, which require a level of investment that rivals movies.
While Indian studios have contributed artwork to many AAA games, most of the game development work is done in North American, European, South Korean, and Japanese studios.
However, with youngsters now seeing gaming as a lucrative career option, more people in India are studying game development abroad and gaining experience working for global gaming companies.
SuperGaming CEO, and co-founder, Roby John believes that the restricted game development work in India was due to a lack of exposure, as many people did not have access to PCs or consoles growing up.
SuperGaming, which has developed shooter games like Mask Gun and collaborated with Google to offer its game development engine to other firms, is now aiming to create AAA games.
The company is in talks to raise a Series B round of over $15 million after raising $5.5 million in its Series A round in 2021. While India’s gaming industry is still in its early stage, it has seen massive growth in revenues and time spent on games.
With 507 million gamers in the country, 120 million of which were paying users as of FY22, the industry’s revenue is expected to reach $8.6 billion in FY27 with an annual compound growth rate of 27%, according to a report by Lumikai, a gaming-focused investment firm.
Developing battle royale games, however, is still a complex process that requires seasoned teams with world-class talent in all crucial departments like engineering, design, and art.
It also requires the ability to run LiveOps and release monthly updates. As Dayanidhi MG, founder and CEO of nCore Games, which developed the action game FAU-G in 2020, points out, popular games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite were not overnight hits. The games had matured and evolved gradually over several years.
Overall, the rise of the gaming industry in India and the pursuit of AAA games by local developers bodes well for the gaming sector’s future and the potential for Indian-made games to reach a global audience.
Besides SuperGaming’s Indus Battle Royale, GameEon Studios is developing a GTA inspired game called Mumbai Gullies which is a highly anticipated title among the gaming community.
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