India has always been upfront in embracing the innovative creations and consuming limitless trends! The bigger the market size, the higher the consumption rate. Since technology and gaming go hand in hand, the gaming industry has aced the technology trends to surprise individuals. Gaming technology has taken a leap ahead in 2018 and brought surprises after surprises in every quarter. The future of gaming depends on ongoing technological renewal. For example, classics like 90s DOS games are fun to revisit but one will not be as excited to play in 2018 as the excitement of new discoveries and experiences of new games (like Pokemon Go) is different. Since technology is advancing each day thus 20 years old game sounds primitive to gamers. With newer technology audience retention, increase in the number of gamers has also shifted to a whole new level. According to statista report, it is expected that the industry will be worth 71 billion Indian rupees in 2021 whereas it was at 44.2 billion Indian rupees in 2018 and is on the verge to touch 52.2 billion Indian rupees in 2019. Thus to live upon the rising demand for new innovative games, technology is constantly evolving to create better games. It benefits the gaming studios to scale their imagination in creating innovative games with the incorporation of the newest technology to quench the thirst of an increasing number of gamers. To look back in 2018 here are the gaming technology trends which has floated and has changed the gaming scene in India. A year of Blockchain revolution for the Indian gaming industry The blockchain technology is not only on the verge of disrupting the international gaming industry but it is also about to explode in India — a revolution that will encompass a variety of sectors including gaming. Earlier in August 2018, the Indian Government announced that they are building a Blockchain District which will function as an incubator for blockchain startups and companies. The announcement came right after the International Blockchain Congress that took place in Hyderabad on 3-4August, a government-backed event organised by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Government of Telangana, the Government of Goa, and Nucleus Vision. The game developer Stick Sports the creator of Stick Cricket and Stick Tennis is looking forward to riding the wave of the ever-expanding Indian blockchain scene by bringing in a new title in their Stick Cricket franchise, which will be blockchain-enabled. Blockchain will have a fundamental impact on what it means for players to own in-game items. Assets like bats or balls, that players work hard to earn or create, will have real-world value. Players will be able to personalise them, trade them, and sell them for actual money. They will be able to do whatever they choose with them — inside of the game and out. “This is a massive revolution for the games industry — and we are excited to be among the first to be part of it. It will become possible for our players to get rewarded beyond their in-game experience and to derive a real-world value for the investment they have made in playing our games. For us, this is invaluable.” Not only that recently The Law Commission of India published a report on the legal framework for gambling and sports betting in India. The 140-page report explains that gambling is defined as the act of “wagering or betting on games of chance but does not include betting or wagering on games of skill.” Wagering and betting are subsequently defined as “the staking of money or virtual currency, whether or not it is equivalent to a recognized currency.” Till date, the Indian Game developers were wondering whether to push in building Blockchain gaming or not. But after this nod from the government that cryptocurrency is legal and law commission established by the order of the Indian government has issued a report recognizing cryptocurrency as a means of payment. Thus for the first time, a body appointed by the government admitted that cryptocurrencies have value and can be used in transactions which will help the game developer to move forward in developing games/ gaming contests with blockchain technology. The technology used in the mobile to ease out gaming experience Globally, India is the largest market for Google Play downloads and has the highest estimated growth for handsets — expected to rise to 491 million in 2022. In the words of the Minister of State for Electronics and IT at CII’s International Conference on the Indian Gaming Industry: “Currently valued at USD 890 million, the Indian gaming industry is projected to grow at the annual growth rate in double digits.” Mobile games liberate users from living room trap and enable them to enjoy the similar experience even on the go. This is the reason why it is a common sight to spot every next person in your neighbourhood addicted to the digital realities and spectacles offered by mobile gaming. The trend for mobile gaming has successfully disengaged countless gamers from one-room console experience to small-screen magic. The detailed cinematic graphics, characters, gameplay has drawn a large number of audience and innovative mechanics. Not only that the mobile games also requires fewer codes overall in speeding up the production times. Slower devices are always a drawback for gamers. Thus to avoid such consequences, smartphone makers are slowly shifting and upgrading devices which will ease out uninterrupted gameplay for gamers. For example, Apple’s latest launched a smartphone in 2018, iPhone X has Bionic A11 chip which considered to be the fastest smartphone available in the market today. Apart from that for Android devices, it is shifting to lightweight stock android versions which helps to effortlessly help gamers for faster gameplay. The newest launches like Realme U1, RealMe Pro 2, Xaiomi, Asus, Samsung Galaxy ON8, Honor Play, Vivo V9 Pro and so on. If the gamer inside you is still not impressed then DOOGEE S70 with an inbuilt gamepad and a fast cool down feature will definitely do the job. The device has attracted a lot of attention and is not just an upgraded rugged phone but also a professional gaming smartphone – the first of its type in the world according to the brand. The combination of software and hardware in the phone improves the cooling efficiency to 15 times that of the normal standby situation, has a 70 per cent running duration under maximum CPU frequency, and decreases the core temperature by seven degree Celsius. Multiplayer gaming revolutionise the gaming scene in 2018 The journey of multiplayer gaming started long back in 1970 when the Internet was nowhere. In 2018 the multiplayer gaming has revolutionised the complete gaming scenario with the launch of PUBG and Fortnite. This type of social gaming with the battle royal format has become quite popular among the college students. The popularity of these games has touched sky PUBG has 30 million active users each day whereas Fortnite which is not so popular in India has over 200 million registered users. It is quite surprising how these games have gained so much popularity in such a short span of time. Some say it’s relatable, some say it is the technology, some say the unique gameplay. But we would say the game rose up to the height because of its unique technology which is one of the key reasons for its popularity. Taking an example PUBG lead designer Brendan Greene expressed the final version of the battle royale concept has the faster development which was possible with the game engine Unreal Engine 4, compared with ARMA and H1Z1, which were built with proprietary game engines. Greene acknowledged that implementing the size of the maps in Battlegrounds has been one of the challenges with working with Unreal, which was not designed with such maps in mind. The game was designed as a mix between the realistic simulation of ARMA 3 and the arcade-like action focus and player accessibility of H1Z1. Apart from the latest version of Unreal Engine 4, it comprises of programming like Java, Python, and Pearl, C# as single language is not enough for realistic games for the PC, Xbox, PS4 and mobile versions. The wide availability of the game irrespective of the platforms can be one of the major reasons for its popularity. With PUBG’s popularity touching sky, other similar games like Rules of survival, Free fire and so on which launched in late 2017 are also acquiring descent traction. It is known that in a game either you lose or you win. But the technology of the of the game allows players to learn how they died and what other players do to succeed, which simultaneously gives players the chance to create stunning, cinematic highlights. Minton et built the AI-powered version of the technology, automating the process of creating cinematic highlight reels, as well as an anti-cheating AI algorithm. As PUBG is Minkonet’s first big client, it would be easy to see this technology expanding to other popular titles apart from the current running 3D replay. Better the technology, better the engagement rate and thus Multiplayer gaming technology has entered into the new avenue. Cloud gaming trials have started in 2018 but yet to pull up the pace Cloud Gaming is a new and exciting way to enjoy video games on demand which is similar to an OTT platform. A gamer can enjoy the game without investing in expensive hardware like consoles. The gaming on demand is an upcoming technology that is still in its trial phase but the maker of the on-demand gaming platform has already started revolutionising the gaming scene. Cloud gaming requires the remote operator to store, execute and render a game on its server and stream the video results directly to a consumer’s computer. All a gamer needs is a screen and a controller to play games. That means one can stream a game on the mobile phone with high-end graphics which was earlier only possible on PC or a gaming console. It might be more affordable than building one’s own gaming PC. According to KPMG, the Indian online gaming industry was valued at $290 million in 2017 and it projects that this will become a $1 billion dollar industry in 2021. Makers have already started creating and making a mark on the Indian gaming scenario. For example, Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Vortex have made their way to India, giving access to games like Assassin’s Creed, Arma 3, Borderlands 2, Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Dota, F1 2017, PUBG and Fortnite, and more. It is in beta stage, so it works on an invite basis, while Vortex charges you Rs 690 per month. Thus cloud gaming platform is yet to revolutionise the gaming scenario in India because it requires high-speed uninterrupted internet which is India is lacking behind. The internet giant Reliance Jio GigaFiber has promised to roll out with newest internet connectivity with quick, reliable internet, which will ease out to create a passage for cloud gaming platforms to enter widely in the Indian market. XR technology in gaming is expanding at a slow pace The AR/ VR gaming are one of those popular technologies which have disrupted the Indian digital gaming scenario as soon as AR game Pokémon Go, made a mark among the Indian gamers and enthusiasts. Earlier in the year Netscribes founder and CEO Sourav Mukherjee expressed that, 2018 is the year for local game developers like Paper Boat apps. But as per the 2018 Games Developers’ Conference AR/VR/MR genre of gaming has emerged with 24 per cent of game developers working on this ally. Considering the popular launches of VR headsets like Occulus Rift, Sony Playstation VR, HTC Vive and so on, the growing market for VR gaming content is taking the leap. Indian game developers like Empower Labs are investing in producing VR games, so this genre of gaming is seeing an uptick. The only reason why VR technology in gaming is lagging behind is that of the price of the VR headsets and the often motion sickness caused playing VR games. Whereas AR technology in gaming is moving forward and becoming popular as it is easily implementable, and its success is visible by the popularity of Pokémon Go and Night Terrors. Indian game like Pulimurugan AR game by Csharks games and solution, based on an Indian movie have received a lot of traction among gamers. Apart from that a lot of AR card games, shooting games are also pushing the market further to meet the gamer’s excitement in the genre. Mobile game developers have started building games that bridge the gap between real life and virtual world through augmented reality games. The use of cell phone evolved from making phone calls to a smart gadget is paving the way for adoption of AR and VR technologies. 2018 Technology journey in gaming has been a roller coaster ride. As a lot of investors are investing in the top gaming technology trends, it is expected that this year 2019 will be much brighter and will ease the journey for gamers and game developers.