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BW Businessworld

COVID-19 Boosting The Gaming Industry

While the world is taking a pause, the gaming industry is moving ahead top speed. It has acquired new customers and managed to get back those that had forsaken it.

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Due to the coronavirus outbreak, life as we know it has come to a standstill however, the gaming industry is booming and doing much better than before. Due to the lockdown and safety precautions taken by people around the globe in light of the pandemic, with more time on hand, people are gravitating towards gaming. 

At a recent BW Businessworld webinar co-chaired by Dr. Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld, and Karena Belin, Co-Founder Whub & AngelHub, the conversation revolved around the implications of the pandemic upon this industry and the future of gaming.  

Yat Siu, Chairman, Animoca Brands & Chief Executive Officer, Outblaze talked about how there is an increase in traffic due to all things being virtual, and how every day is a weekend as people are engaging in online mediums to pass time. When he spoke about his observations and patterns recognized with respect to the coronavirus, he mentioned how it is not necessarily new people who are starting gaming, rather it is those who had gone off these platforms that have returned. He has a firm belief that the “new trend, the next social revolution will come from gaming”. In addition to this Siu highlighted that “gaming was inflationary by design” and it will accelerate data exchange, along with forcing brands to evolve their engagement with new cultures and norms. In agreement with Yat Siu, Sudhir Kamath, Co-Founder & CEO, 9Stacks expressed that there has been a 40-50% increment in time spent gaming. He was of the opinion that this spike will sustain. Talking specifically about poker, Kamath stated that new people are starting to play this game online. 

Backing Yat Siu on his claim, Caroline Amorim, Co-Founder & CEO, EMOTAI highlighted that new technology would enable the industry to be more professional.  The more these platforms know about the interaction of users, they better they will learn and be able to improve. She believes that AI (Artificial Intelligence) will have a suitable impact, and changes will happen in this field. 

Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder & COO, Pixowl and Co-Founder & CEO, The Sandbox emphasized that when technology is owned by users, it gives them freedom and choice. The gaming industry can become a trillion-dollar industry with an open ecosystem. Other panelists concurred.

Anuj Gupta, Founder, Adda 52 and Co-Founder, Poker Sports League discussed the implications of hyper-casual games. He spoke about how old games are programmed fun, and their consumption will change. The ‘trust factor’ needs to come in. Therefore, the question that arises is “how can I customize games in order to account for trust and flexibility?”. When asked what he feels the future of gaming will look like, he said that gaming will be consumed like videos, and will be tailored to fit the person creating, playing and watching the game. 

Adding onto these points, Anirudh Pandita, Founder, Pocket Aces said that the industry is on ‘loop’ currently. He stated that once the lockdown in India is lifted, the numbers will normalize. He pointed out that people from all over India are engaging in this platform and the popularity is only going to increase. Another observation, which was seconded by other panelists, was that of ‘people not buying the premium package’, a mentality they hope will change in the future. 

Therefore it can be safely said, that while the virus has increased the number of people gaming, there are several avenues to be yet explored.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Kavya Shah

The author is an intern with BW Businessworld

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