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GameHack devs on the future for the Indian mobile game market

GameHack devs on the future for the Indian mobile game market

Given it's one of the world's fastest growing smartphone markets, many predict 2015 will be the take-off point of the Indian mobile games market.

Steel Media certainly isn't underplaying potential, with its PG Connects conference heading to the sub-continent in April for PGC Bangalore.

The excitement is tangible in the local developer community too, as we discovered when we dropped in on Reliance Games' Game Hack initiative.

It's currently touring India with the aim of identifying the best upcoming game-makers.

Kinshuk Sunil of Hashstash Studios was typical in his assertion that, “the potential is unlimited, we need to rise up to the challenge of reaching it”, although he also acknowledged that there's plenty of room to learn and improve.

“We need to up our game as far as polish and production is concerned, we need to rise up to the challenge of monetisation, reach and visibility,” he said.

Will versus skill

The hunger to improve and learn from western (and eastern) markets is a common theme, with developers citing inspiration from a wide range of western indie studios Simogo (Device 6), Ustwo (Monument Valley) and Hipster Whale (Crossy Road). as well as the likes of Angry Bird studio Rovio and Dong Nguyen's Flappy Bird.

Joel Johnson of DigiKhel summed it up most neatly saying. "I think we have the will, but lack the skill.

"We have a lot of ground to cover with regard to quality from studios elsewhere, but I'm confident that our studios will put the required effort for it."

Johnson went on to suggest there a few studios already reaching the quality needed for success, while Jose Paul of Knightmare Game Studio reckoned that the investment in education and infrastructure needed is already underway.

I think we have the will, but lack the skill.
Joel Johnson

"The changes happened in the last decade are much more than what we think and they are happening rapidly," he commented,

"If we look five years ago in India, there were very few institutes providing support and knowledge about gaming."

Desire to pay

Of course, there are still hurdles to overcome, the most commonly identified of which relating to simpler payment via carrier billing.

Somewhat related to this with the belief of Shailesh Prabhu, from Yellow Monkey Studios that "Users being more open to pay for content is the biggest thing that could happen to the market in India."

Ultimately though, the developers we spoke too were bullish on their prospects and despite stressing concerns about the ratio of players to payers.

The consensus fell inline with Kuldip Krori of Gamti Games view that "The potential for Indian mobile games market is huge. Our market is waiting to be tapped to its full capacity - India needs an approach more fine tuned to its tastes."

What's next

So from an outsider's perspective, there's definitely an infectious enthusiasm in and around the Indian mobile games community. If optimism and desire are a useful guide, then the next few years should prove very interesting.

GameHack is ongoing now and open for developers to register at www.game-hack.in

Following the events in Bangalore and Pune, the GameHack is heading to Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai over the next few weeks, before the shortlisted prospects feed directly into the Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Bangalore.

The latter will also feature multiple informative conference tracks for global publishers and indie studios, a packed expo, dedicated meeting system and networking events in the evening.

Pocket Gamer Connects Bangalore is now open for speaker submissions and advance tickets.


CEO

A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, lively Chris is up for anything - including running Steel Media! (Madman!)

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