Global Game Industry News Blog

Thursday, June 21, 2007

India, Consoles, and a Global Culture of Gamers

The trouble with being a PhD student is that sometimes you see too many connections with stuff that is going on. But then again, perhaps that is what we're supposed to do. Take a whole lot of stuff and bring it together.

I'll start off with India. While I agree that India is ripe for the picking for console developers, I don't really think that the market is going to be very big for a while yet. There are several reasons. One of course is that the contender that actually has the best shot at growing the Indian console market (Nintendo) is at least thus far ignoring the market.

The 360 meets the need of hardcore gamers. The PS3 is astronomically expensive except for the uber wealthy, and no one in India is developing any games for that platform. The 360 on the other hand has XNA Express, which Indian developers are extremely excited about. If you need some indicator of this, I recommend the India IGDA forums.

What does a PS3 offer Indian gamers at this point? I'm just not certain.

The other aspect of this is that mobile gaming is huge in India, and yet again Nintendo has completely ignored India with the DS or even GBA.

So while "demand might be picking up," I read these reports and kind of squint my eyes and think skeptical thoughts. Not because I think they're wrong, but I think they're actually being used to encourage growth. They're putting the cart before the buggy if you will.

In the mean time, you have Indiagames who has largely ported games to the numerous mobile devices, and was recently bought up by a large multinational suddenly interested in games for other parts of the world? That's probably because they have more than handhelds there. The multinational is looking for more money, and they're NOT seeing it in India for the moment.

I think of course they're also trying to get their own developers exposed to making games, because for the most part they've been doing more porting of games than creating original IP. They know they must cut their teeth on some titles first.

Lastly, it is interesting that the Loco Roco developer talks about a Global Culture of Gamers, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. However, for the moment that Global Culture is more Japanese/American than it is global.

I would love to see more Global content. I've actually encouraged many an Indian developer to do just that. Bring Indian content to the US, it is possible, it just has to be done the right way.

I also think its important to think not must multi-culturally or uni-culturally. That we can be both multicultural and super-cultural.


Gamasutra - India's Gaming Market to Reach $125m By 2010
A new report from analyst group iSuppli has said that India's gaming market is showing a "steeper curve" than recent years, forecasting that by 2010 the industry could reach $125 million, up from $13 million in 2006.

Despite the "steep price tag," the company aims to sell 10,000 units by the end of the year, and has thus far sold 1,200, previous to the forthcoming launch of a country-wide promotional campaign.

However, says the group, the PlayStation 3 will face a tough fight from the Xbox 360, which launched earlier in the year, and Microsoft has already "extensively marketed the video game console in the country"

That includes a specially localized title with Yuvraj Singh International Cricket 2007 (pictured), showing what the group calls "its commitment to customizing its titles for Indian tastes."

The group notes that the Xbox 360 is available for the equivalent of $600, a "major price differential compared to its competitor," and notes that "gaming consoles attract high duties, which lead to higher prices. Duties comprise approximately 35 percent of the product price in India, limiting video-game-consoles’ legal sales and promoting the gray market."

Despite the challenges, iSuppli says "the gaming console market is an indicator that demand is picking up for several electronics product segments that now are small in size. It also shows the interest by global electronics companies in tapping into the opportunities available in India."

Said iSuppli associate analyst Ashish Thakre, “The console gaming segment is not very sizeable in India. However, future growth expectations and consumerism are prompting companies to establish themselves in India." - India Set for Console Boom

GameDaily - Indiagames Launches International Division
Indiagames today announced the launch of its international mobile publishing and development division. Called IG Fun LLC, this arm of the company will focus on the European and American markets. Indiagames looks to be among the top 5 mobile publishers in its operational territories.

"At IG Fun we operate under the simple idea that the Customer is King and aim to provide fun and exciting games," said Sean Malatesta, VP - Business Development, Indiagames and new CEO of IG Fun LLC. "Our main goals are to provide high quality games, the widest handset coverage and to support our titles with clutter breaking marketing and merchandising."

GayGamer.Net - Loco Roco Developer Speaks
In the interview, he calls for a "Global culture of gamers". A culture that supports games from across the ocean, instead of the nations divided where gamers are not willing to try a game from foreign lands.

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  • I fully agree with your analysis, that is also true for mobile games. As a professional in the development and porting industry, I see a lot of changes in the way Indian people addresses the Mobile gaming market. Despite their large human resources reserves, they invest massively in very specialized technologies such as a porting tool like ours (Mobile Distillery's Celsius) so as to offer added values to their customers and not only low value porting services.

    By Blogger Bertrand Louveau, at 6/22/2007 04:28:00 AM  

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