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Esports and India – can the two win big?

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Esports and India - can the two win big?Reading Time: 4 minutes

For 47 days in India’s summer heat last year, eight IPL teams played a 60-game tournament, culminating in a one-run win for Mumbai Indians. More than 25 players, along with several coaches and members of Mumbai’s staff were rewarded with USD 2.4 million. Two months later, in Seattle, Team Liquid, comprising five members, bagged USD 10.86 million of the USD 24.7 million prize money for winning an 11-day Dota 2 tournament called The International.

The rise of the esports industry – currently valued at USD 700 million – has been compared to the exponential growth of cryptocurrencies, but without the unpredictability of the bull and bear trends that govern financial markets. Predictably, the subsequent influx of capital from external investors – Alibaba, Intel, The Walt Disney Company*, The Kraft Group, Hewlett Packard and even Jennifer Lopez – has helped sustain its growth. The latest boost is the IOC recognizing it as a ‘competitive sport’, the first of many steps towards seeing esports in the Olympics.

More than half of the esports markets is in China, USA and South Korea; the scale of awareness, and inevitable growth in India, though, hasn’t yet materialised, with the absence of widespread high-speed internet connectivity the most influential of several reasons. Yet Lokesh Suji, director of the Esports Federation of India – India’s esports governing body – is optimistic on the sport’s prospects.

India’s world ranking (in the IeSF esports championship) jumped from 29 to 20 last year,” he told ESPN. “It’s estimated that India has around 120 million online gamers. This population will cross 300 million by 2021. From a PC and console perspective, the spread is largely concentrated to metro and B-category cities, but for mobile, the other cities have a decent share. From a gender perspective, we have 32% females, who are active on consoles. The serious esports community in India is pegged around 10 million.”

The typical gamer is between 18-25 years old and picks up esports in college. Game strategies are developed during classes, with breaks spent executing them. A few years ago, gamers had a hobby, but not a career opportunity. That is what’s changing. In 2017, for example, in all tournaments combined, more than INR 2 crores (USD 308,000 approx) was paid out as prize money for competitions in India.

Considering the incipient stage esports is in India, growth percentages, rather than actual prize pools, are a fairer measure of growth in a developing market. The prize money for Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), two of the most popular global games, increased by 40 and 46% respectively in the past 12 months. According to data from AFKgaming, Dota 2’s prize pay-out rose from INR 40 lakhs (USD 67,000) in 2016 to INR 67 lakhs (USD 103,000) in 2017. CS:GO’s increased from INR 36 lakhs (USD 56,000) to INR 68 lakhs (USD 105,000) in the same period.

But Suji advises caution. “We have always counselled the budding talent that studies and education comes first in a country like India,” he says. “Don’t compromise on your studies to follow your passion, India has not yet reached the level of cricket. It will take time. This time will be less in comparison to what cricket took to reach where it is today. India has the largest youth population in the world. Esports is culturally more relevant to current and upcoming generations.

There is much work to be done, Suji concedes. “Esports needs to be taken to the grassroots levels. Esports cafes will create awareness and act as a training ground for budding Indian talent and will help identifying the best athletes. With regards to counselling budding talent.. at times we even get calls from parents of the youngsters who want to take up esports as a career. ESFI is working with colleges and schools to get esports included as part of their sports and cultural fests.

No sport has gained popularity without spectators and growing fan bases. Esports has adopted a franchise-based model, with gamers from several countries comprising a team. According to a report by Newzoo, a company that tracks intelligence in the digital gaming industry, esports could have 586 million participants by 2020, with more than half coming from the Asia-Pacific region. Still in its nascent stage, India will make up just a fraction of that viewership base.

The size and scale of opportunity is growing, but it’s at a nascent stage,” Rajan Navani, Managing Director of JetSyntheses, a digital gaming company, tells ESPN. “Esports moving into the Olympics is going to give a big fillip to a country like India. The market will really grow when we have esports champions coming to India.

The best parallel is China, 10-15 years ago, if you look at digital gaming and esports, it was nothing. But now, it’s the largest market. India will have the same growth as China, but not in the same way. Broadband reached the homes of people, it changed the esports industry. When you have high bandwidth, you have great connectivity. And digital payments is a relatively new phenomenon.

In India, investments are flooding in, albeit primarily for millennial engagement as opposed to the traditional esports method of competitions played in front of specially-designed computers. “Gaming is the digital gateway to consumers in India. Esports cannot be developed in isolation, it needs an ecosystem of payments, players, competitiveness,” Navani says. “Many people don’t have the means. In India, there is a small group that pays and a larger group that engages.

That approach to esports in a developing market seems to be working. Walking into a recent digital gaming show on the outskirts of Bengaluru, it feels like a chance for gamers to tour the chocolate factory. Stalls covering the length of a football field allow trials of different genres of games. The characters of several RPG’s (Role Playing Games) have come to life through costumes. Shirts in bright colours with technical jargons, such as ‘Gamers don’t die, we respawn’ feel nostalgic.

But there only seem to be young faces around, another reminder of the distinct industry demographic. Parents lag behind their children, either unexcited or oblivious. Blaring, echoing music adds to the ambience. It’s loud, much like how esports has been in the last few years.

Like any other sport, the industry has had to maintain its integrity by effectively managing hurdles such as performance-enhancing drugs and match-fixing. Like any other sport, it is evolving and maturing quickly to a global audience. But with a unique niche, exponential growth and its ability to attract more, it is unlike any other sport.

 

Source: espn.in


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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DAO.Casino is launching Sandbox for game developers

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Game developers will be able to become pioneers in the development of decentralized games for the gambling industry using DAO.Casino protocol.

 

On September 17, 2018, DAO.Casino is opening Sandbox for developers, independent teams and game development studios that choose to harness the power of the rapidly developing DApp industry.

Since Monday everyone may submit their application for Sandbox on the official Sandbox page.

The Sandbox project is designed by DAO.Casino developers. Participants of Sandbox will learn the basics of decentralized applications development on DAO.Casino protocol. Developers participating in Sandbox will learn to create, design and deploy decentralized games and applications on Ethereum blockchain.

DAO.Casino is planning to reward most active developers for their constructive feedback on the improvement and optimization of the SDK and related documentation. The company will separately announce the details of the rewards program later this fall.

“We are confident that the Sandbox project will play an important role in our collaboration with studios and independent game developers. We cannot wait to see our product helping developers unleash their creative and entrepreneurial talents and apply those to one of the most groundbreaking technologies of the XXI century. — states Ilya Tarutov, CEO, DAO.Casino. – I am sure that the products we’re developing will transform the online gambling into a fair and transparent industry for all of the involved parties: casino operators, developers, and affiliate marketers. “

“We are launching the Sandbox with the goal of enabling as many developers as possible to learn to create decentralized games. We have achieved an important milestone by starting to accept applications from developers all around the world who share our idea to make online gambling fair and transparent. With our technology, developers can take the whole gambling industry to the next level” – says Alexandra Fetisova from DAO.Casino.

DAO.Casino disrupted the online gambling industry in 2017 by starting the development of the protocol based on Ethereum blockchain technology. DAO.Casino protocol ensures the automation of transactions and facilitates interactions between all the industry participants: casino operators, game developers, and affiliate marketers. DAO.Casino team is fully dedicated to developing the best products and making the gambling industry a better place.

 


Source: European Gaming Media

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm Gaming

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BTG licences its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to UK-based developer Storm Gaming Technology Ltd

 

Pioneering online slot developer, Big Time Gaming, has struck yet another deal to licence its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to Storm Gaming. Storm Gaming will be combining this with some of its brand licenses including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Chase and Tipping Point to take its slots to the next level and deliver a superior player experience. The partnership will allow Storm Gaming to design and develop its own games using MegaWays™, which debuted in Big Time Gaming’s Dragon Born over three years ago.

Blueprint, another licensee of MegaWays™ has had great success leveraging BTG’s ground breaking IP, and Storm are sure to follow suit with a range of interesting products penned for land-based and online deployment Q1 2019.

MegaWays™ is a random reel modifier system that allows any given spin to produce a different number of symbols across the reels, allowing players to experience a totally different game with every spin. Big Time Gaming has cornered the market with this innovation with games like Bonanza, White Rabbit and Extra Chilli, and will be launching Who Wants to be a Millionaire in November – the most anticipated branded slot launch in history.

Nik Robinson, Big Time Gaming CEO, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how Storm use the MegaWays™ mechanic. Storm has some highly entertaining IP licenses that will work seamlessly with MegaWays™.”

Steve Murray from Storm Gaming, said: “The MegaWays™ concept is remarkable; it provides for and delivers exciting game play on a whole new level. “We shall be using MegaWays™ on new Storm concepts and licensed IP with a number of launches set for the coming months.”


Source: European Gaming Media

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming Industry

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Report shows 9.5 percent increase in economic output; industry now supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide

 

the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new study examining the striking impact the gaming industry has on the U.S. economy – providing stable jobs to nearly two million Americans and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. This is the first comprehensive report on the gaming industry’s national economic impact since 2014.

Oxford Economics’ 2018 study found that the U.S. gaming industry:

  • Contributes $261 billion to the U.S. economy, a 9.5 percent increase since 2014;
  • Supports nearly 1.8 million jobs, up from 1.7 million jobs in 2014; and
  • Generates $40.8 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.

“Gaming companies across the country are enabling long-lasting careers for their employees and making a huge impact on their communities through innovative partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteerism and the generation of revenue that supports critical services. The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”

The research was commissioned by AGA and conducted by Oxford Economics. More information about the study can be viewed here.

About AGA: 

The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.


Source: European Gaming Media

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