The Indian gaming sector is the one sector that has seen the brighter side of the COVID-19 lockdown, and game of skill division of the sector has been the flag bearer. On one side where fantasy sports (which comes under the game of skill genre), has witnessed a dip due to cancellation of sporting events, whereas, real money game of skill games like rummy, poker, and others have seen an acceleration during the COVID 19 lockdown.
Since the game of skill sector has been flourishing during the period more and more players are joining the game of skill queue. For example, MyTeam11 which already has fantasy sports offerings like Cricket, Hockey, Rugby,Volleyball, Basketball, Kabaddi, Football, Handball, and Baseball also launched MyTeam11Quiz followed by the launch of MyteamRummy. This has followed suit to become the second new offering coming from the fantasy gaming giant in the month of April.
Understanding this trend Pacific Gaming CEO Archit Narayan shared with AnimationXpress, “As more recognised companies are establishing themselves in the ‘skill gaming’ sector, we have noticed an increased acceptance of real money games like poker and rummy among users during this lockdown.”
If we closely observe the growth of the sector, the rise of the game of skill is directly proportional to the number of users consuming the game of skill games. Thus their P2P Poker platform PokerSaint has recorded 15 per cent MoM growth in its user base amidst the lockdown period. And Narayan believes that “games of skill will continue to attract more users even after the lockdown is restricted. As the economy slowly gets back on track, we expect new players to become aware of skill games and try their hands at real money skill gaming.”
One of the contributing factors to the success of online skill games is that one can play with a group of people virtually. As COVID-19 pandemic forced all to maintain strict social distancing measures, this has proven to be a growth catalyst for the skill gaming sector. However, he expressed that “Certain game formats such as fantasy sports are heavily dependent on external situations. Evidently, the pandemic has made a huge impact on fantasy sports, which is still reeling under stress from an uncertain future. However, with most of the fantasy game operators being young and dynamic, I am certain that they will make the right moves to re-establish the fantasy sports market in India.”
As people look for more avenues to stay entertained and socialise virtually since multiplayer skill games provide them an outlet to engage with others from the comfort of their homes it will continue to grow. “India will witness steady growth in the ‘skill sports’ sector over the next few years. Irrespective of the lockdown, online gaming will be the fastest-growing sector in India. It is going to be exciting to watch this sector grow and turn into an economically viable standalone industry,” he added.
Thus focusing on the future they are planning to diversify into various game formats globally by the end of this year. They are working on several new social and fantasy games that are already in advanced stages of testing. They will release more details in line with their go-to-market strategy plan to diversify into various game formats globally by the end of this year.