India ranks among the mobile industry’s fastest-growing markets and has the potential to surpass China as the market’s leader soon. Arjun Varma, manager of the Xbox Global Expansion Incubator (GXI) team, has now disclosed Microsoft’s plans to support the nation’s gaming industry not only on Xbox consoles but also on mobile devices.
According to Varma, the purpose of GXI is to interact with and establish connections with the local developer community in India. Microsoft wants to help and facilitate the growth of this ecosystem. They are learning how to publish these games on Xbox in addition to many other platforms. The gaming sector has experienced a rise in recent years, and Microsoft finds India to be a particularly intriguing market. They aim to capitalise on the wealth of interesting content now being released.
To offer support to Indie Developers
Microsoft promises to provide independent developers, particularly those focusing on mobile games, the same tools & resources that Microsoft’s top partners have access to as part of its ambitions to support the nation’s gaming industry.
The GXI team is looking at how it may use Microsoft’s ID@Azure program for Indian independent developers, which can provide access to up to $150k in credits on the cloud computing platform Azure, according to Varma, and reduce the barrier of making games.
Given how few developers use some of those tools and resources, it’s a bold commitment. For instance, the destructible environments in Crackdown 3’s cloud-powered environments need processing power far greater than the Xbox One’s capabilities, so creator Sumo Digital used Microsoft Azure’s servers to handle some of the more demanding tasks. The end product was a multiplayer game where players could use rocket launchers and other explosives to destroy entire buildings. This demonstration, however, was only temporary because no other company has since used the same technology in their games. Varma is also willing to talk about establishing alliances with Indian gaming companies.
Sees the Indian Market as a major customer
Cross-platform tools are significant in bridging the gap between the two platforms. According to Varma, India is still a “predominantly mobile market,” and the GXI team hopes to take advantage of this by bringing mobile gaming in sync with other platforms.
According to Varma, Xbox is instructing these developers to integrate mechanics that make moving games from or to consoles and PCs simple. For an Indian market, cross-platform is the most effective approach. Microsoft supports this and has been noticing mobile developers add elements that make moving their games to consoles and Desktops easier.
According to Varma, creators seeking to succeed in the program might improve their chances by researching the genres that perform well across several platforms. This can assist developers in avoiding frequent mistakes from the viewpoints of playability and marketability.
Varma notes that many free-to-play titles are released in January, which suggests the timeframe between February and July is a good time for indie releases and that even considering future release periods can help games flourish.
He also discussed the marketing avenues via which video games typically succeed the most. While securing relationships with well-known streamers might be effective, social media advertising is more cost-effective for smaller studios. Varma cautioned against shelling out outrageous sums of money to host booths at gaming conventions or to use conventional marketing strategies like banners or physical media.
Mobile Gaming vs Console Gaming in India
Gaming is the practice of playing video games on many platforms, including computers, mobile devices, gaming consoles, and other media. In addition, high-speed internet access is becoming increasingly widespread, particularly in developing nations, which has made online gaming more accessible in recent years.
Online learning and work-from-home opportunities arose due to Covid 19’s limitations and lockout, and the growing acceptance of digital payments also helped fuel the desire for online gaming. Growth in the gaming business led to increased spending to keep up with demand. Due to the potential for profitability, tech companies also began showing an interest in it.
The gaming industry has evolved as a result of smartphone use. Mobile devices are where most games are played. Accessible internet speeds and data with the advent of smartphones with stronger processors & better gaming experiences have also fueled the business.
Though gaming as a whole has developed due to the above changes, one sector that has seen unprecedented growth is the mobile sector. In the past 3-4 years, the mobile sector has surpassed every other platform in terms of revenue, active players, and playtime.
In terms of Xbox’s prospects in India and the fate of gaming in general, Varma’s team is rather upbeat. They think that game development offers opportunities for creators of all levels. And with the advent of 5G, we can’t predict where cloud gaming & AR/VR will lead.