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MARKET OVERVIEW by Chris Stanton-Jones

India’s rapidly expanding

economy is on a different level to Western markets and, partly as a result, it has one

of the fastest-growing games markets in the world. Recessionary pressures slowed growth to some degree in 2008 but have had minimal impact in 2009, where the market grew by an estimated 50 per cent year-on-year. Sources value the market at €81m in 2010 (hardware and software combined at retail prices) and this is expected to grow to €121m next year. The software market is relatively small by global standards, but this is growing in stature when compared to other emerging markets. Sell through data is gradually becoming available to the distributors and publishers. This shows a larger slice of the gaming business coming from the organised retailer sector. Future economical growth will inevitably broaden the gaming audience, which will further make the country a substantial games market by world standards in the next three years.

Low-priced PC and PS2 locally replicated titles offer good software revenue opportunities, while the other end of the market is being driven by imported next gen premium priced titles.

Chris Stanton-Jones is the head of emerging markets specialists Catapult Business Solutions THE FACTS

Population: 1,188,986,000 Currency: Indian rupee GDP (Per Capita): $3,015 Capital City: New Delhi Language: Hindi, English

Key retailers: CROMA, Crossword, EZone, Games 4 U, Games The Shop, Hyper City, Intencity, Jumbo Electronics, Landmark, Lifestyle, Music World, Odyssey, Origin Games, Planet M, Reliance Digital, Sony Stores

Distributors: Basco Games, E- Xpress Interactive Software, Excel Interactive, Milestone Interactive, Redington India, World Wide CD-ROM, Zapak Digital Entertainment

MARKET VALUE (Industry estimates 2010) €121m €81m €59m €40m €17m  PC software  Console and handheld software  Hardware

The high growth achieved in previous years continued in 2009 with an estimated 50 per cent value increase taking the Indian games market to €59m. This is expected to grow to €81m by the end of the year. Growth came from all sectors, although hardware is expected to lose its lead over software over the next few years as game sales increase. Key factors in the market’s growth include a significant rise in disposable income, the increasingly organised presence of Sony, Microsoft and EA, the lower cost of games, and launch dates becoming much closer to those of Europe.

INSTALLED BASE (October 2010. Includes grey imports)

Gaming is still relatively niche in India. This is demonstrated by the fact that the most successful console, PS2, is only present in 0.3 per cent of homes. The acceleration in sales of PS3 shows the opportunity for the market to grow further with price evolution and growing market acceptance. But Catapult Business Solutions argues that total console sales in India in 2009 of 0.3m units are far below what could potentially be achieved.


There has been a dramatic shift in release dates, which are becoming more aligned with those in Europe. This has been a conscious effort to diminish the number of imports. “As a result, we’ve seen rising demand for next gen hardware and a gradual shift in focus from catalogue titles to

new launches,” says Milestone’s Jayont R Sharma. “Day one sell-outs are becoming the norm, which was unheard of a year ago.” E-Xpress Interactive’s director Anand Khemani adds: “Kinect was launched almost simultaneously with the international market. This is a welcome move from Microsoft.”

LOCALISED CONTENT More games are being developed specifically for India. Sony, for example, has invested heavily in titles such as SingStar Bollywoodand Buzz Maha Quiz, and third parties have supported this push for localised content with the launch of Desi Adda: Games of Indiaand Street Cricket.

December 3rd 2010 27

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