Guest Column | Technology Trends 2018 and 2019 in the Indian Digital Gaming Industry

JetSynthesys MD & CEO Rajan Navani
If you look around, technology is all around us. It has enabled us to do amazing things, made everything around us simple and most easily has kept us entertained. While most sci-fi movies that you watch tend to bring out the dark side of technology, you might have already figured that your phone is not turning into a transformer anytime soon. Well, at least not in 2019. But here is what’s been happening in Gaming in 2018 and what you can expect to see in 2019 in India, a country that has seen a massive spike in adoption to gaming over the last year. With increasing disposable income, smartphone penetration and, access to the internet, Gaming in India is reaching a whole new level. In 2018, there has been a massive spike in the number of gamers in India and world over, which have given rise to the number of games, careers and newer game technologies. The Gaming industry in India is no more a fledgeling market. According to Statista, the market value of mobile gaming in India is estimated to reach about 405 million U.S. dollars by 2022. The number of mobile phone gamers will be around 628 million by 2020 according to the forecast. The market opportunities have motivated a number of start-ups in India into the gaming business. The number of game development companies in India has seen 10-fold increase in the last 5 years. As the competition increases, developers are investing increasingly on newer technologies. Focus on building Gaming Smartphones With an increase in smartphone penetration and the number of gamers, the math is easy for manufacturers. In the last couple of years, smartphones have become gamers paradise all over the world. High-end phones like iPhone X, Google pixel XL, Sony Xperia Z, Samsung galaxy series have excellent features in terms of display, RAM, processor etc. enhancing gameplay experience. Budget phones released this year like POCO F1, OnePlus 6 series and Vivo V11 pro have boded well with Indian gamers giving best possible gameplay experience at reasonable prices. These phones support high-end graphics games adapted from consoles without compromising on quality. Their processors snapdragon 845 (Qualcomm) and bionic (iOS) improve the efficiency of the phone helping in engaged gameplay. The battery life of these phones has also seen improvement giving longer gameplay duration. Introduction of Cloud Gaming Cloud gaming is a relatively new technology in India and 2019 could see an introduction of cloud-based games. Cloud gaming aims to provide end users frictionless and direct play-ability of games across various devices. It provides two facilities, storage at low cost for individuals and Big data analytics for firms, both customizable in terms of scale and capacity. This architecture combined with affordable rates and high speeds data could massively help the Indian gaming community. More Cross Platform Games With Cloud Gaming becoming the next big game changer in Gaming, it is only obvious that developers would be looking to create games that allow gamers to play their games on multiple platforms like Mobile, console, PC and even VR alike. Minecraft was one of the first games to go cross platform. Released in the year 2011 in PC it was eventually released in console then mobiles and now recently in VR Oculus Rift. As Minecraft was a resounding success, an increasing number of developers have started to develop cross-platform games. It is also one of the key reasons why PUBG was a massive hit making it one of the most popular games of the year in India. This trend is expected to continue as it helps developers to establish large following and game community. 2019 could be the year for VR & AR While you might have already heard or maybe even tried a Virtual Reality device or an Augmented Reality game, it hasn’t disrupted the gaming market in India yet. As a developing market, VR in India has only been able to find the tech geeks to try VR & AR content until now. But 2019 could see a completely different market for VR and AR. This would mean more VR device manufacturers focusing on product design, pricing and, quality and increasing number of developers focusing on creating a better AR & VR experience. With the massive global success of Niantic’s franchise AR game – Pokemon Go in 2016, you could expect developers to re-introduce some cool AR games in the coming year. Most notably, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, developed by Niantic which is slated for release in 2019. AI to play a Bigger Role With constant evolution of AI, it is expected to play a big role in every facet of technology. AI tools like machine learning help developers during coding to improve efficiency and develop quality content. AI has helped developers in making level design, character creation, situation-based gameplay for games much less complex. To sum it all up if you are someone looking to stay entertained through smarter technology this year, it is going to be a promising and fulfilling year. There is only one way technology is moving and that is forward. (This article has been contributed by JetSynthesys vice chairman and managing director  Rajan Navani. does not necessarily subscribe to these views)