In many respects, 2022 was a milestone year for the Esports industry. In addition to the significant return of on-site events, there were numerous game-changing developments, such as the debut of 5G. Once fully implemented, high speed and low latency will revolutionise the lives of players and propel the gaming industry to unimaginable heights.
Then there’s big data and the internet of things, which have enabled real-time tracking, data monitoring, and analysis, allowing the industry to become more vigilant and dynamic. Web3 has also created opportunities for gamers and developers to become economically independent in an entirely new way. These additions have also helped to unite the gaming community through the enhancement of gaming experiences. Data management has enabled the sector to become more self-sufficient and futuristic.
This year, we also watched the rise of the metaverse, which has been a prominent topic of conversation even while receiving conflicting reviews. Whether or not it has a significant impact on the Indian gaming sector remains to be seen, but as far as trends are concerned, it has unquestionably garnered attention from the community and companies alike.
Assuming these tendencies continue to gain traction, I believe the Esports industry will reap significant benefits. Obviously, one of the most popular games in the country, BGMI, was banned during the second half of the year, which was a major setback. Esports organisations and players have started diversifying into multiple games as a result of this event. Favourably, this has prompted other game developers to invest in the Indian gaming industry, recognising a potential to increase their market penetration in India.
All of these elements should help bring the Indian gaming industry much-needed stability and maturity.
Defining trends for Esports industry in 2023
The inclusion of Esports in international multi-sport events is something I, along with the entire Esports community, eagerly anticipate. The recent declaration by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the Olympic Esports Week in 2023 has the potential to revolutionise competitive gaming worldwide.
This is a positive development in the lead-up to the Paris Olympics in 2024, and it’s surely the IOC’s attempt to push Esports in the right direction.
In addition to this, we have witnessed an increase in large sponsorships from non-endemic brands seeking to capitalise on the Esports industry. In order to interact with their key demographic – GenZ & Millennials – gaming influencers have become their go-to source. Gamers have a target demographic that is very digitally savvy and fiercely loyal. Combining this highly engaged fanbase with their capacity to curate intriguing material and not just conduct brand plugs will make gamers the most sought-after influencers in the coming year.
Last but not least, in-game trade, monetisation, and transactions via blockchain and play-to-earn games, which have captured the attention of Indian gamers across all demographics, will also play a major role in the industry’s rapid expansion next year.
(The author is Founder & CEO, 8bit Creatives.)