關於印度遊戲市場下載,用戶體驗和消費意願的分析

本文原作者:Matthew Handrahan 譯者:ciel chen

對印度遊戲行業,即使最粗略的分析都能知道其潛力與現實之間存在的鴻溝。

印度的希望是可以被迅速而且有力地被實現的,僅僅通過他們龐大的12.5億人口就行。阻礙的問題是:儘管有一半的人口擁有了手機,會進行APP內購買行爲的受衆對於遊戲開發者來說是複雜並有關聯性的,這需要多種的解決方案,也因此會花費他們非常大量的時間。

Nazara Technologies公司打賭5年能看到一個成熟的印度遊戲市場。Moonfrog Labs則認爲是10年。

對於Nasscom Gaming Forum的董事長兼Dhruva Interactive的創始人(於去年被Starbreeze收購)——Rajesh Rao來說,至少有機會看到了印度遊戲行業發展的基石。根據被特別委託的App Annie報道(於去年在Nasscom GDC正式公佈),印度首次成爲iOS和Google Play2016年第二季度遊戲下載量前五名之一的國家,在一年的時間越升了兩名僅次於俄國、巴西、中國和美國之後位居第四。

india mobile games market(from gamesindustry.biz)

india mobile games market(from gamesindustry.biz)

看到2016年累積的16億下載量,Rao相信印度市場潛力的最大問題之一已經有了答案。

“證據就在下載量的增長中,”在我們的Nasscom GDC會面中他這樣說。“十六億的下載量出現了。這真實發生了。印度現在是前五名國家之一了,我們還會攀得更高。根據CAGR(年複合增長率)顯示,我們可以進入前三”

“是否越來越多的人在玩遊戲已經不是一個爭論點了。現在是要看有多少人會爲遊戲付費。這個纔是要討論的。”

App Annie的數據,其持續增長的數字表明印度人會繼續玩下去。十六億的積累下載量預計在2020年會達到53億;在同樣地時間表裏,Statista預測印度的手機用戶數量將會從2.92億增加到4.44億。這是個龐大的數字,也意味着一個龐大而有價值的市場,但是這也是造成印度潛在能力與現實表現之間一道鴻溝越發明顯的要點所在。同一季度,印度在iOS加安卓平臺遊戲下載量排世界第五名,App Annie的數據表示總收入只有1600萬美元。兩年前,在2014年第四季度裏,印度遊戲總收入爲900萬美元。

根據App Annie所示,在收入增長方面印度遊戲正處在快速改變的風頭浪尖。87%的CAGR會推動印度手遊市場,使其年收入在2020年達到11億;市場價值大幅進步的今天,這樣的數字會抓住很多國際公司的眼球。當我對Rao提到App Annie這個項目的時候,他的回答相當慎重。

“當我們看到這個結果的時候,我們覺得……這似乎是一個相當積極的預測。但讓人們爲遊戲買單會是一個心理層面的轉變。這個改變的決定權在他們手上。你可以創造出點東西加速這個改變,但是你無法逼迫玩家做出改變。”Rao這樣說。

爲了實現這個改變,出現了各種“賦能品”被研發應用來縮短這個轉變的過渡期:有Google和Facebook都積極推行的——更高速、更實惠、無處不在的無線網絡,有移動錢包、運營商扣賬的付費方式、以及更多的支付選擇;還有,自從Google Play(目前最流行的電子商城)把最低消費從50盧比降低到了10盧比,移動App store消費門檻也降低了。

然而,Rao快速地指出對印度遊戲業來說是沒有“速效劑”的。他更願意看到App store的最低消費再下降更多。比如說從5盧比降到2盧比,這會讓支付變得更加可行來吸引成百上千萬的人們來消費。Rao還說這個問題不僅僅跟印度的基礎建設有關,更多還得追溯到印度歷史的“文化”方面。 “運營商扣賬的付費方式不是一個特效藥,”他提到App Annie報告中提到的“賦能品”之一。 “它一定會有所成效的,但並非是唯一能支撐住我們的。”

但是文化在改變,Rao相信印度電影市場的成熟會是遊戲市場未來的縮影。一張電影票的價錢“在5至25盧之間已經是非常久的事了,”但是在過去十年裏電影產品的進步——讓不斷髮展的中產階級相信體驗有更高的價值所在。 “現在你爲了一場週五表演花500盧比,沒人爲此覺得心痛。”

電視節目也有相同效果,有一點就是,它們是屬於國家的。根據Rao所說,第一個私人頻道是在90年代早期引進的,全部由廣告商資助。後來這些頻道需要通過有線電視運營商進行訂閱,可以套餐訂閱或者單獨訂閱。“這個頻道5盧比一個月,那個頻道7盧比一個月,從今往後的15或者20年後,有些頻道可能會標價到150盧比一個月。”

Train Simulator 2016(from games industry)

Train Simulator 2016(from games industry)

“重要的是,最終,【印度人】會爲遊戲內容買單。但是歷史數據告訴我們,我們印度人喜歡免費,所以這還得耗些時間。”

如果Rao說的沒錯的話,這拋出了一個對於這個國家的開發者羣體很重要的問題,他們大部分是以小團隊的形式存在的,資金渠道有限,而且很難讓發行商發現他們。這些因素都讓iOS和安卓商店首頁成爲了印度遊戲通向商業的最可行途徑,但是這當中的收益並不足以支撐他們繼續下去。

對於Rao來說,印度遊戲創業環境的經驗不足——這跟印度遊戲業的相對年齡有不可避免的關係——讓開發者們很難做出當務所需的選擇。他們的選擇多出於對遊戲的激情,卻脫離了創業的現實性和實際生存的必要性。

“我認爲很多開發者都是不假思索就跳進了這個行業。印度與西方的開發者羣體不同的特點在於他們很多是在大公司有工作經驗的人,他們在遊戲裏已經投入了自己的青春,他們是有經驗的。然後,他們從大公司裏跳出來開始自己的事業。

Rao說印度的開發者羣體很年輕,相對於那些全球各地已經發展完善的企業來說,他們的管理費用較低。“他們可以在創業道路上奔跑很長一段時間。但是,最終,如果你賺不到錢那……現實就是很多這樣的年輕人會做很多反思思考他們要如何生存下去。

“獨立遊戲的概念、做自己的遊戲、做我想做的遊戲——這都是扯淡,因爲這些都沒法養活你。很多人就陷入了這種想法裏,這種想法很好非常好,但是,錢從哪裏來?”

“如果你沒有一個成功的商業模式,在某種意義上來說你的創業之路已經結束了。”

Rao舉了個例子,Timus就是先在印度所需要的開發者,它由Ahmed Mohammed創立於海德拉巴(印度南部一城市),從一個四人小組在六年內發展到百來人。它製造的遊戲是按照一個很緊湊的時間進度在發行,涵括了各個種類遊戲,穩健地發展了足夠龐大的玩家受衆,通過植入廣告盈利。這個公司迄今爲止的最大型遊戲是《模擬火車2016》,但是Timuz並非僅僅靠單一的產品發展,而是主要靠投資組合的力量。”

“那傢伙簡直要命。就我所知他可是賺了大錢了。也就是說他看破了些東西。他明白印度現在還不是付費的時候,所以他主攻投資組合這塊……好樣的,再接再厲。他在做這些的時候,有一個相當圖書館那麼大的內容庫,裝了足夠多有關遊戲類型和遊戲風格的內容,他現在所掌握的數據會在未來幫到他。”Rao說道。

“聰明。這的確是個聰明的獨立遊戲開發者”

本文由遊戲邦編譯,譯者ciel chen,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢遊戲邦,微信zhengjintiao

“India is now a top five country, and we’ll probably climb further”

Indian people are playing, says Dhruva’s Rajesh Rao, but the road to payment might be long, and unforgiving for the country’s indie developers
Matthew Handrahan

European Deputy Editor

Wednesday 8th March 2017

Even the most cursory analysis of the Indian games business reveals the vast gulf between potential and reality.

India’s promise can be encapsulated, swiftly and powerfully, by a single, very large number: 1.25 billion, the country’s population. The problems that stand in the way of even half that number becoming a smartphone owning, in-app purchasing target audience for game developers are complex and interconnected, demanding a variety of solutions that will play out over very different timescales. Nazara Technologies sees a mature Indian games market as a five-year bet. Moonfrog Labs has suggested ten.

For Rajesh Rao, the chair of the Nasscom Gaming Forum and founder of Dhruva Interactive, which was acquired last year by Starbreeze, it is at least possible to see the founding stones on which the Indian games business will be built. According to a specially commissioned App Annie report, officially unveiled at Nasscom GDC last year, India entered the top five countries for combined iOS and Google Play game downloads for the first time in Q2 2016 – jumping two places in the space of a year to nestle behind Russia, Brazil, China and the US.

With 1.6 billion downloads accrued for the whole of 2016, Rao believes that one of the great questions over the potential of the Indian market has been answered.

“The proof is in the downloads growing,” he says when we meet at Nasscom GDC. “1.6 billion downloads has happened. That’s not notional. India is now a top five country, and we’ll probably climb further. Based on what the CAGR is showing, we could go into the top three.

“Whether people are playing is no longer a debate. Now it’s a matter of how many people will pay. That’s the debate.”

App Annie’s data indicates that Indian people will continue to play, and in ever increasing numbers. The 1.6 billion downloads amassed last year is projected to reach 5.3 billion by 2020; in that same timeframe, Statista forecasts that the number of smartphone users in India will rise from 292 million to 444 million. These are huge numbers, suggestive of a huge and valuable market, but this is the point at which the gulf between potential and reality becomes startlingly apparent. In the same quarter that India placed fifth in the world for iOS and Android game downloads, App Annie’s data shows total revenue of just $16 million. Two years before, in Q4 2014, total revenue was $9 million.

According to App Annie, that is on the cusp of rapid change. A CAGR of 87% will push the Indian mobile games market to $1.1 billion in annual revenue by 2020; a vast improvement over the value of the market today, and the kind of figure that would draw the gaze of many international companies. When I mention App Annie’s projection to Rao, though, his response is notably measured.

“When we saw that, our view was… it seemed like a fairly aggressive extrapolation,” Rao says. “Getting people to pay is a change in mindset. It has to come from themselves. You can create things that help to accelerate it, but you cannot force them.”

To that end, there are “enablers” being developed and implemented to hasten that transition: faster, cheaper and more pervasive wireless internet, which both Google and Facebook are actively pushing; mobile wallets, carrier billing, and a broader range of payment options; lower payment thresholds on the mobile app stores, after the minimum price tier on Google Play (by far the most popular store) dropped from Rs. 50 to Rs. 10 (about 15 cents).

However, Rao is quick to point out that there is no “magic bullet” for India. He would like to see a further reduction in the minimum app store price tier, for example; RS. 5 or Rs. 2, which would make payment more feasible and attractive for millions of people. Rao describes the issue of payment in terms of India’s “cultural” past rather than simply about infrastructure.

“Carrier billing is not a magic pill,” he says, referring to one of enablers mentioned in App Annie’s report. “It will definitely show results, but it’s not the only thing holding us back.”
But culture’s change, and Rao believes the maturation of the Indian film market is indicative of what lies ahead for games. The price of a cinema ticket was “between Rs. 5 and Rs. 25 for a very long time,” but an improvements to the product over the last ten years – in the form of modern theatres, and films with better production values – has convinced the growing middle-class that the experience has a higher value. “Now you could have a Friday show for 500 rupees,” Rao says. “And nobody’s blinking.”

The same effect can be seen with television, which at one point was operated by the state. According to Rao, the first private channels were introduced in the early 90s, all of them funded by advertising. Then channels were offered for subscription through cable operators, in bundles or individually. “This channel is Rs. 5 per month, that channel is Rs. 7 per month,” he continues. “Cut to now, 15 or 20 years later, some channels are priced at Rs. 150 per month.

“The point is that, eventually, [Indian people] will pay for game content. But the historical data shows that we love free, and we take a little time.”

If Rao is correct, this poses a significant problem for the country’s community of developers, most of whom are in small teams, with limited access to funding, and far from the radar of international publishers. These factors make the Indian iOS and Android storefronts the most accessible place to do business, but there isn’t much revenue to go around.

For Rao, the lack of experience within the Indian startup scene – unavoidable given the relative age of the country’s games industry – is preventing developers from making choices that the situation demands. Choices made from passion, rather than the reality of building a business and the pragmatic necessity of survival.

“I think there’s a lot of developers who just jump in without thinking,” he says. “The developer community in India, the characteristic that distinguishes it from the community in the West, is that the startups there are more often than not people who have worked in large companies; they’ve put in their years, they have experience. Then, after that, they’re stepping out into startups.”

India’s developer community is young, Rao says, with much lower overheads than in more developed industries around the world. “They can make their runway last for quite a while. But, eventually, if you aren’t making money… The reality is that a lot of these guys are going to do a lot of soul-searching at some point, about how they can really survive.

“This notion of indie, and doing my own game, making the games I like to make – all nonsense, because that doesn’t feed you. A lot of the guys got caught up in that kind of thinking, and it’s all fine and dandy, but where is the money?”

“If you don’t have a successful business model, then at some point you come to the end of your runway.”

Rao offers Timuz as an example of the kind of developer that India needs. Founded in Hyderabad by Ahmed Mohammed, Timuz has grown from 4 people to more than 100 in just six years. It produces games on a very busy release schedule, spanning multiple genres, steadily building a large enough audience to monetise through interstitial advertising. The company’s biggest game to date is Train Simulator 2016, but Timuz is thriving on the strength of a portfolio rather than any one product.

“That guy is killing it,” Rao says. “He’s making a ton of money, from what I know. That means he’s cracked something. He understood that Indians are not paying yet, so he’s building a portfolio…. Good man. More power to you. In doing so, he has a library of content in enough genres and enough styles that he now has data that can help him in his future.

“Smart. That’s a smart indie.”

GamesIndustry.biz is a media partner for Nasscom GDC. Our travel and accommodation costs were provided by the organiser.(source:games industry.biz )