By Visvesvarryya Neelakantan
To be or not to be has never been the question when it comes to ideating and developing technologies that change lives. Even though the industrial revolution of the 19th century is considered an inflection point, the world had witnessed great ideas much earlier. With constant iteration in sectors like aviation, healthcare, agriculture, energy, mining, etc., humans have always thrived on making processes easier, faster, and more economical. The first hard drive that could only store 5MB of data and took up an entire room was quickly replaced by floppy disks, CDs, USB sticks, memory cards, SSDs and finally with the ‘cloud’ we managed to make it disappear.
Over the past two years, as the world struggled with an existential crisis, the rapid change in behavior – of individuals and businesses, to adapt to the new normal is amazing to witness. On the one hand, where consumers have become much more flexible in terms of their willingness to try new things, new and experienced companies have been seen experimenting with technology adoptions at a rapid pace. Adoption rate is crucial when it comes to new technologies. Online versions of games like Ludo have broken all previous download records during the pandemic, thanks to the breaking of geographic and physical constraints resulting from going online. 15 years ago, who would have imagined playing ludo online? The development and application of new technologies in games have led to real-life similar gaming experience with social gameplay, rich graphics, high frame rates, secure transactions and much more, which has led to steady growth in the industry. Today, with advances in technology, gamers enjoy an increased immersive experience through the number of options they can choose from, features of a game, who they can play against, privacy settings, and payment protection coupled with high definition graphics to begin with.
Mobile gaming technology is now dominating the gaming industry, reinforcing the industry’s drive for growth. Smartphones these days are not only more affordable but also better equipped to meet many of the digital needs of users. This was not the case before. These days, one can operate seamlessly from their phone, whether sending emails or turning to the device for their entertainment needs. More than ease of access, mobile phones have boosted the quality and experience of online gaming. With modern chipsets, GPUs, and cooling systems, games once played on PC and consoles can be enjoyed at your fingertips. According to a report by IAMAI, India has over 500 million mobile game players who not only play for leisure but also compete against each other. Today, Esports has even become recognized at global sporting events, such as the 2022 Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China. Not too long ago, India won the bronze medal in the DOTA 2 open category at the Commonwealth Esports Championship 2022 in Birmingham, UK.
Due to the ease of payments via UPI, biometric security, 2 or 3 factor authentication, etc., real money games have gained popularity across the country as people’s perception continues to to change. Technologies such as blockchain have not only opened up new avenues for developers, but have also provided transparent and robust security measures for players who are now switching from Pay2Win to Play2Earn. The gaming experience is more immersive and engaging than ever. Games like Pokemon Go have shown the world the true power of augmented reality. Global tech giants have recognized the potential of augmented reality and virtual reality and are investing billions in the development of Metaverse technology.
The Indian online gaming sector is on a roller coaster that is only going up. To support and catalyze this demand, the industry is looking for talented people who can not only solve problems, but also innovate while doing so. There is huge potential for anyone looking to pursue a career in gambling in India. With all of this, we can’t deny the fact that while technology is the backbone of gaming, it will be interesting to see how its constant evolution helps the industry thrive and reach new heights.
(The author is Chief Technology Officer, Head Digital Works Pvt.Ltd. Opinions expressed are personal.)