The rise and expansion of mobile gaming through titles such as PUBG Mobile can revive interest in PC gaming, and thereby drive up PC component sales, believes Prakash Mallya, vice-president and managing director of marketing at Intel India. Speaking to News18 at the sideline of a roundtable on the rise, impact and future of eSports in India ahead of the ESL One tournament in Mumbai on April 19, Mallya stated that there is a significant opportunity for the PC gaming industry to see a domino effect from the massive rise of mobile gaming in India.
When asked if he sees the opportunity for mobile gaming to reverse-drive interest and traffic into the PC gaming and components industry, Mallya said, “It is an evolving process. The more people experience small screen mobile gaming and the more affluent they get, the better is the gaming experience that they demand. For instance, they demand a bigger screen, and the ideal PC gaming experience. We see that growth happening -- it is starting to come by, and the opportunity for PC gaming in future is much more significant than what we see today.”
With the influx of super affordable smartphones and similarly inexpensive, unlimited data plans, mobile gaming has seen massive rise of interest in India. More potential gamers now have the affordable tools to fulfill their gaming ambitions, which were previously out of their reach due to prohibitive expenses of good PC hardware. This has been further reflected in dwindling PC and PC component sales in recent times, which have all remained largely stagnant, or showed annual decline in numbers.
Mallya, however, sees great potential of a revival in PC gaming, through the growth of mobile gaming in India. When asked about how he sees Intel adapting to the shift away from PC and PC gaming in general, he stated, “The best gaming experience is always on a PC. Variable factors such as higher affluence, better network and infrastructure such as digital payments all enable higher spends in gaming. These are the factors that leave a lot of room for new users in this segment, and that is where Intel comes in. For instance, our 9th generation Core processors offer higher value for gamers in the long run. Furthermore, we do a lot of work with the gaming community to adapt to their needs, such as with the upcoming ESL One Mumbai, in order to generate higher interest and opportunities.”
Mallya is also a firm believer in India’s potential in the gaming industry. While gaming was not seen as a professional creative industry for the longest time, it is now seeing a comparatively higher amount of interest. Elucidating this, Mallya stated, “Gaming in India is at a very initial stage, but we still have 39 million PC gamers in the country. As a gaming fraternity, India accounts for 11 percent of the global gaming population. So, the numbers are there, but (professional) opportunities that lie ahead are comparatively smaller in comparison to China and other international markets.”
It is still nascent days for the gaming industry in India, but it evidently has good growth potential. As Mallya states, PC gaming might just be able to make a new revival, and even the rise of new technologies such as game streaming would not entirely kill off the importance of PC gaming components, in India or across the world.