From Hobby To Profession - The Rise of Gaming Community in India| Expert Speak

In an exclusive interview, Mr. Manohar Hotchandani - the Business Development Director at Meta India - talks to Jagran New Media about the booming gaming communities in India and Meta's committment to build the gaming community in India.

The Rise of Gaming Community in India| Expert Speak
The Rise of Gaming Community in India| Expert Speak

Taking “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy” to a different level altogether, the gaming industry is rising exponentially across the globe, especially in India. In fact, gaming isn’t just another fun activity anymore but a flourishing sector contributing to the national economy. In an exclusive interview with Jagran New Media, Mr. Manohar Hotchandani - the Business Development Director at Meta India - talks about the booming gaming communities in India.

Excerpts from the Interview

  1. What is the current status of the gaming sector in India?

Online Gaming in India has undergone a paradigm shift in the last decade. Increase in smartphone usage and higher data connectivity have catapulted the sector into a hyper growth phase. According to a study by KPMG, the sector accelerated over the last two years, and it is expected to reach a $3.8 billion market size by 2025. India remains a mobile first gaming market, with Indian developers creating digital versions of the games that players have enjoyed through the centuries, such as Ludo and Teen patti amongst others. Most of the popular games in India provide options to play games in local languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Bengali, and others, thus attempting to target a large audience.

  1. What are the trends influencing the development of Indian gaming communities?

Online gaming was once for the select few with access to computers and high speed internet, but now with mobile gaming anyone can enjoy a game of Ludo King anytime, anywhere. Gaming on Facebook, especially, gaming videos are seeing increased consumption. At Meta, gaming is closely linked with our mission of giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. As one of the world's most popular forms of entertainment, gaming brings people together in a way that transcends borders, language, and age. Over the last two years, we have witnessed that Indian gamers are now increasingly streaming games in regional languages proving that there is no barrier when it comes to gaming. Our team at Meta, is working with creators who provide live streams in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Manipuri, Malayalam, Bengali and Punjabi apart from English.

Moreover, we aim to champion diversity and inclusivity in the games industry by encouraging more women in gaming. We have been closely working with home grown female gaming creators such as Aparna Shukla (Rog Stream) - India’s biggest FB Gaming female creator with 2.7M+ followers as well as with Kangkana Talukdar (Mystic Ignite). 

  1. With more than 620 million active internet users nationwide, what are your views on the rise of Indian gaming creators transcending the limitations of region, language and gender stereotypes?

Meta is committed to building the gaming community in India, a place for everyone to enjoy and experience games together. Our goal is to enable gaming creators to build and grow their communities on Facebook Gaming and earn a living through monetization on our platform. We are working with top creators as well as nano and micro creators to expand their presence on Facebook. 

From an industry standpoint, we aim to champion diversity and inclusivity in the gaming industry by encouraging more women into leadership positions, and elevating the stories of people from all walks of life using the power of games to change the world.

We have seen several gaming creators from across India build flourishing careers on Facebook such as, Aparna Shukla (ROG Stream) from Kapur, UP is India’s biggest FB Gaming homegrown female creator with 2.7M+ followers, Kangkana Talukdar (Mystic Ignite) from Guwahati, Assam FB Gaming India’s first ever female partner creator, and Nonngem Konyak (Taisen Gaming), Mon district, Nagaland  another growing female gamer on Facebook Gaming in India.

We also understand that India is home to many languages and our team is working with vernacular creators such as Bagha, one of India’s most popular Bengali gaming live streamer, Flash Bengali Gamer, who also streams in Bengali, Super Tuxon (Sriteja Kasey) who streams in Hindi, Telugu and in English, among any others.

  1. The number of both urban and rural internet users is growing steadily in India. So, how do you foresee gaming streams, viewership, and monetization trends in our mini-metro cities?

We believe that as more Indians come online, the casual gaming category will expand manifold as more and more people look for entertainment online. Through Facebook Gaming, we give people a place to enjoy a shared love of gaming, playing games together on Facebook, wherever and whenever they want.

India is emerging as one of the largest gaming markets in the world and we have seen an increased focus on gaming on Facebook, especially gaming video in the country.  Today we are seeing the rise of gaming creators across India and not just from the big cities but from Hisar, Raipur, Rachi, Guntur and Imphal who are rising steadily in the popularity charts. We are seeing more and more people looking at gaming as a viable career option. 

Akhilesh Yadav (IND Akhil) for example, is a leading Facebook gaming creator from Nashik, with a following of over 700K. Due to his hard work and diligence in gaming, within 2 years, Akhilesh has not only become financially independent, he also supports his family today. At 24, he is one of the fastest-growing VOD creators on Facebook and has also bought a house from his earnings through gaming content creation. This is the power that content creation has.

  1. We are currently witnessing an exponential growth in India’s gaming economy. As a platform that helps people connect and be heard through community building, how does Meta plan to encourage and strengthen these budding vibrant gaming communities?

We’re proud of the value our platforms provide to creators, irrespective of the stage they’re at in their creator journeys. To support creators we have several programs which aid a game enthusiast’s journey, such as ‘The Gaming Creator Program’ and ‘Level Up program’ that helps gaming creators build and grow their communities on Facebook and work hand in hand with them to shape the future of gaming video. We have also recently launched ‘Next Level’ across 24 Tier 2 and 3 cities to identify and train next-gen gaming creators across different universities in India.

Moreover, short form video has been increasing in popularity as an important way for creators to communicate with and grow their audience. We recently launched Clips to Reels, a new feature for gaming video creators on Facebook to convert live game play clips into Reels. This has enabled gaming creators to attract new viewers across Facebook by creating 60-second Reels from existing Facebook Gaming content. We also have monetization tools for gaming creators to earn a livelihood on Facebook. Eligible Gaming creators have access to a full suite of monetization tools on Facebook Gaming, from ad revenue, to Stars, Fan Subscriptions and more.

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Mr. Manohar Hotchandani is the Business Development Director at Meta. He has 25+ years of extensive experience working in Voice and digital assistants, Cloud, Software, managing Cloud businesses, networking and Startup Distribution and Channels.

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