June 16 2019
Acer sees gaming business revenue double in India
07 April 2018

‘Parental acceptance, high speed Internet driving growth’

Acer India, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Acer Inc., sees revenue from gaming business more than double this year driven by “parental acceptance,” Internet expansion and high-speed networks, according to a top official.

“Of late gaming is coming of age in India,” said Chandrahas Panigrahi, chief marketing officer and business head, Acer India. “It is because of the social acceptance. There is a huge amount of parental acceptance. You are more tolerant of your son being a gamer. That is the societal change that has happened.”

Gaming contributed 4% to the consumer business of Acer India compared with 1% five quarters ago. That contribution is slated to more than double to 10% this year, he said.

Total gaming PCs (personal computers) sold in India last year were 82,800 and in the third quarter of 2017, the gaming market grew 3% compared with a growth of 1.3% in Q1, according to Acer. The sale of gaming notebooks has helped maintain the momentum of overall PC sales in 2017.

“It was the social issue here. In India people study to work. My children won’t probably. That’s a generational shift. We are a generation behind Europeans and Americans. A professional gamer does not have to go to an office to work. That is what is happening in Korea and China. There are enough people to sponsor them. They have their own cult. They have their followers. India is also moving at this speed. We are building that ecosystem as well,” he said in an interview.

“In counties such as China and the U.S., upwards of 20% of the PC users are gamers. Therefore you have a strong ecosystem there. Of late India is coming up. About 2.5%-3.5% of Indian PC users are gamers,” Mr. Panigrahi said.

“Young adults, millennials, students, anyone who believes in sports whether e-sports or physical sports as a way of entertainment take up gaming,” he said.

The PC penetration in India is currently at 10%, compared to 40-50% in advanced nations. “Another driver is that the quality of hardware that the drastically improved over the years. The quality and frequency of (gaming) titles have gone up. Of course, 4G has come in. I see a huge potential for gaming in India.”

India gaming industry was valued at $543.08 million in 2016 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.61%, in value terms, over the next five years, according to a report by Confederation of Indian Industry and TechSci Research.

‘Rapid growth’

The gaming industry in India has grown rapidly over the last decade, predominantly on the back of increasing smartphone and Internet penetration coupled with rising income levels of consumers in the country, according to the report.

Globally, games have been the key driver of mobile app growth. In Q2 2016, India ranked fifth globally by game downloads. It is expected to surpass both Russia and Brazil in the coming years, according to IT industry body Nasscom.

It is expected to surpass both Russia and Brazil in the coming years. Surging adoption of low-cost but powerful smartphones has enabled mobile gaming to take off in a big way and India is well positioned to be the next major gaming market.

The dominance of cricket in India has been broken by other games such as football, hockey, and badminton, Mr. Panigrahi said.

He said in the near future, gaming cafes would be mushrooming in major cities of India and in the technology hub of Bengaluru, there were already more than a dozen such cafes.

E-sports have been included in the 2022 Asian Games, Mr. Panigrahi said. “That is a huge recognition and a huge industry will evolve around it. In the biggest e-sports tournament, the prize money is bigger than [the] Wimbledon.

“Many of the gaming titles are worth much more than our Bollywood releases. That is the kind of ratings they have,” he said.



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