Innovation and affordability: A Benchmark while Designing Online Games

By Naveen Goswami, Head of Innovation, Witzeal Technologies

The online gaming industry is one of the fastest disrupting industries with a creating a magnanimous impact as it grows further. Being a multi-million dollar global industry, it has seen an exponential growth during the pandemic and research indicates a superior rise not only in the revenue generation but also in the number of online gaming users in India. According to a report by Drishti IAS, the Indian mobile gaming industry is expected to exceed the revenue of USD 1.5 billion by 2022, and is believed to reach USD 5 billion by 2025. Between 2017- 2020, the Indian online gaming industry grew at a CAGR OF 38%, in comparison to 8% in China and 10% in the US.

Today, smartphones have evolved due to the upgrading technologies like Virtual and Augmented reality (VR/AR), Blockchain, and in particular, the Metaverse. These recent tech innovations have completely changed how games are played and the entire gaming industry as a whole. Penetration of smartphone, digital payments and easy access to the Internet and technology have played a major role in the surge in the number of gamers over the years. Skilled manpower has supported the developers to deliver new cutting-edge technologies to make the experience more smooth and pleasant. According to a KPMG report, over Rs 29,000 crore is the anticipated revenue to be generated with over 65 crore users by 2025, while employing over 70,000 highly skilled technology professionals and others related to the industry. By harboring the ship of technology, the game developers have started feeling the need to brainstorm innovative games for the players to give them varied experiences.

Innovation in designing an online game
Every industry transitions through innovation powered by evolution and remolding. Online gaming has been re-envisioned with the use of modern technologies such as game design, programming languages like Unity 3D, Solidity, C++, JavaScript, and Python alongside machine learning and Artificial learning (AI), and the likes, to create user-friendly platforms. The significance of skill in addition to entertainment is the key criterion in designing these games. The audience plays a crucial role in shaping the trends and innovation for an individual game. One of the proverbs – “Necessity is the mother of invention” holds true in the gaming sector because the users are demanding innovation. Gamers today are habitual to socializing with other hundreds or thousands of players while exploring true-to-life 3D world in real-time. The infrastructure designed by the game developers to make this possible is based on some of the most cutting-edge technologies, including super-fast 5G and cloud networking, as well as powerful processors.

Likewise, the popularity of fantasy online games and e-sports will influence the change in the industry. Crypto Games assist in gaining assets while playing. It is a combination of participating in the game and trading assets that can be transferred and traded anywhere in the world. Trading games have also become popular significantly as a medium deemed for its safety and simple ways to generate revenue. According to a report by Worldwide Asset exchange, over 75% of online gamers wanted to trade virtual assets for a multi-access currency to be used on various platforms. Facebook’s Metaverse, 5G technology network and “responsible gaming” are some of the other measures to ensure a better gaming experience for the gamer.

Developers are inclining towards programming more freemium apps and games for the mobile and casual gamers. It encourages the public to use such free-to-play games and even create virtual friendships with the players around the globe. Essence, a global data and measurement driven media agency, a part of GroupM released a report, on Gaming in the 2020s; “Reach, rewards and medication”, which aims to understand the full scale of the opportunity and the gain a brand can expect from their efforts in gaming. All things considered, innovation is crucial to growth in this quickly expanding industry.

Creating a balance between innovation and affordability
The definition of partaking with gamers is continuously evolving and shifting towards a virtual environment to ensure the feeling of social connectivity particularly in aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic. Breakthrough innovation requires breakthrough technology. The efforts accustomed to these innovations come at a cost and sometimes may not yield the desired result either in terms of cost or user acceptance. Therefore, the R&D investments are not appraised as loss but rather an experiment to succession. It’s likely assumed that hefty investments are a necessity for a new venture to grow successfully, when we see burn rates of icons like Uber, Paytm, and WeWork.

However, that’s not the case, money is an important criterion but, there are certain other strategies apart from money that crates innovation at a lower cost. For instance, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission cost less than “Gravity Movie”. The fruitful Mangalyaan spacecraft Mars Orbiter Mission was about “Gravity” but one-ninth the price of NASA’s new Mars mission.

In order to achieve better results alongside low cost, proper strategy, planning and thorough gut feeling is essential. Innovation requires keeping an eye on cost besides pushing to generate new solutions.

In my perspective, learning, user acceptance, and engagement should be used to gauge an innovation’s success. Innovation is iterative and an outcome of a series of experiments. Successful innovation measured on the parameters of acceptance causes positive disruption. It is crucial to deliver concepts with impactful and competent new resolutions from the innovation point of view. The gaming industry has a lot of opportunities for gaming enthusiasts not only as gamers but, even as a developer. The future and scope of gaming are promising and bright.

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