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Are Gamers pivoting to Indian Games after the ban on 116 Chinese Apps?
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How have Indian Gaming apps benefitted from the ban on Chinese apps so far

Are Gamers pivoting to Indian Games after the ban on 116 Chinese Apps?
  • India has banned 177 Chinese mobile apps since June, including key games such as PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends, Chess Rush, Rise of Kingdoms.
  • The banning of Chinese gaming Apps have opened doors for Indian Gaming platforms.
  • We speak to a few Indian gaming companies and experts to find out how Indian Gaming apps benefitted from the ban on Chinese apps so far.
India’s ban on another 118 Chinese apps in September, including popular games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Ludo World, Dank Tanks, Ludo All Stars, Arena of Valor, Carrom Friends, Mobile Legends, Rise of Kingdom, Chess Rush opened up room for home-grown gaming apps to rise in the ranks.

While only three games were banned in June, the second batch in September put a ban on 35 games. According to Pokkt, the apps that have been banned were contributing about 5% to the total revenue in mobile gaming and about 40-50 % tournaments were happening through PUBG.

After the ban on TikTok, we saw many replicas like Instagram Reels, Mitron, Chingari, Bolo Indiya, Roposo, crop up. It opened up an opportunity for Indian video apps to come to the forefront and they have seen millions of downloads in the past month. Did the ban on Chinese Games have a similar effect on the Gaming industry? We speak to experts and home-grown apps to find out if Indian games have what it takes to fill up the void and crop up as a perfect alternative.

Here is what they had to say:

Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, JetSynthesys:

The ban on Chinese apps has benefitted many of our platforms, however, the growth we can attribute to this reason alone in the last few weeks is hard to allocate. It would be under 10% on an overall basis. Larger growth has been due to people staying indoors during the lockdown. We do see the surge sustained. We have a lot of promotions and loyalty initiatives within our digital products to retain our consumers even if new opportunities or other older products come back into the market. JetSynthesys Inc is our platform for global growth and we would like to see our international base growing at least 100% in the next year.

Shivanandan Pare, CEO Adda52Rummy:

The banning of Chinese gaming Apps have opened doors for Indian Gaming platforms. We should see a lot of local players leveraging the opportunity and coming up with new games with local flavour. As far as Rummy is concerned, it is a highly local card game and truly Indian, family card game mostly played in India and amongst Indian Families. So that we never faced any competition from chinese players.

The shift due to such events, usually are secular and are sustainable based on user experience in respective platforms. We are very confident that consumers who experience our platform will stay back.

We are looking at creating an experience which is immersive and engaging. Over the next 12 months the idea is to give users an extremely differentiated online rummy playing experience.

Vaibhav Odhekar, Co-Founder & COO of POKKT:

While it's too early to talk numbers, it is a golden opportunity for local developers to explore. Obviously you can’t build a game now, so only if someone was in an advanced stage of development or had a ready product, would seek to maximise most. However, I also feel there are options of other global games like freefire. So Indian developers need to focus on quality because competition is still global.

The growth will sustain but the most important factor is quality. So the ban is helping in creating trials / giving developers an opportunity. However if the game is not good or cannot develop traction, the it's a big opportunity lost.

In the casual/mass gaming segment, Chinese apps hardly occupied any space. In the esports genre, pretty significant. I might say almost 40 - 50 % tournaments were happening via PubG.

Abhishek Madhavan, SVP, Growth and Marketing, MPL:

We have collaborated with over 28 Indian game developers and studios and published their games on the MPL platform. These games are loved by our users and are fun to play and very well made. There is no dearth of skill and talent among the Indian game development community and we hope to play our part in showcasing their games to the world.

Anirudh Pandita, Founder, Pocket Aces:

Loco has witnessed a 6x growth in DAUs during the last two months. The viewership increase has been driven by a growth in the number of active streamers on the platform, including India’s top streamers, who are now actively streaming on Loco. Our monthly active streamers have increased by 122% month on month during the last three months and continues to accelerate at a breakneck pace. In fact, we've also seen over 1,000+ hours of live gaming content being streamed per day and this expected to grow in the coming months as well. We are more determined than ever to empower the gaming community and the growing ecosystem which comprises over 300 million gamers currently.

The Indian gaming industry has been seeing rapid growth with users from across the country taking to esports and mobile gaming in a big way. We have seen talented gamers showcase their skills through games such as Call of Duty, Free Fire and more, including PUBG. Having said that, we are confident that the recent ban on PUBG Mobile has been made by the Government after much deliberation and with good reason. We see it as a stimulus for the Indian gaming community to look within, and develop new means of showcasing their talents. We are a strong gaming community, and I am certain that we will rise to the challenges, and come out strong, with opportunities for the world to leverage.

At Loco, we are more determined than ever to serve the Indian gaming community. We stand by our streamers and are working hand in hand with them to chart out a new course for gaming content. Our platform empowers users to stream games and showcase their talent in India. Being a 100% Made in India platforms, Loco will amplify its efforts towards making India a global gaming superpower.