Battlegrounds Mobile India Success Yet to Be Replicated By Other Games: Analyst

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With Krafton releasing a bespoke version of PUBG for India, known as Battlegrounds Mobile India it’s only natural to wonder if it has an impact on how the nation plays and consumes games. Previously IGN India had reported that when PUBG Mobile was available in the country, revenue peaked at about $3 million per month largely on the back of its royale pass and vanity items. According to a recent episode of noted esports podcast FTWImad, Free Fire India revenue is about $1 million a month as per industry estimates.

This made us wonder why there’s such a huge difference between the two. According to a recent KPMG report, consumer spending in India are likely to see a strong growth in the next three to four years.

“With pricing of IAPs [in-app purchases] adjusted to Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), localisation of content, social aspects of gaming; and emerging opportunities around multi gaming platforms being able to devise monetary rewards; the consumer spends around online casual gaming is likely to see improved traction,” the report reads.

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And while KPMG’s findings largely deal with casual gaming instead of midcore or hardcore games like Battlegrounds Mobile India or Free Fire, we were curious to understand where Krafton’s game scores.

“I think it’s fundamentally going to boil down to how users play sophisticated games on the midcore side,” says Girish Menon, Partner and Head, Media and Entertainment, KPMG. “I think the challenge with IAPs and battlepasses is that in the past — and by the past I’m talking about before the last 12 to 18 months or so — has been that the number of people dedicated to these kind of games were limited. But PUBG has shown that there is a very wide audience of people who were willing to engage in those games.”

Menon tells us that Battlegrounds Mobile India aka PUBG is unique in the sense that it’s able to bring in a large user base despite having gameplay mechanics that are more complicated than your average mobile game.

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”Our sense is as we see more sophistication and titles coming in, this may change,” he says. “The challenge has been that the kind of depth [in gameplay] PUBG saw with their userbase in India has not been replicated yet. There a lot of other games that are seeing traction but not yet at the same scale.”

That said, Menon is hopeful that with more games on the market this would change.

“As we get to a situation where you see more users playing these kinds of games, you will see more pick up for not just battle passes, but any kind of IAP and that’s going to be the trigger,” he says.

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With Battlegrounds Mobile India hitting 5 million downloads in under a week since launch and renewed competition from Free Fire and Call of Duty: Mobile looming under the shadow of mixed signals from the government regarding video games, it seems that there’s never a dull moment in the Indian games industry.


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