Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

rajat-ojha

 

In this episode of InConversation; Queenie Nair of ET Edge Insights speaks to the founder and CEO of Gamitronics,  Rajat Ojha. Rajat discusses the possibilities of India ruling the metaverse space, dealing with the Covid situation, and the changing role of the theme park landscape. He also explains how AR/VR and robotics powers the future of gaming.

Close to half of the internet users in India played online games in 2021. Around 433 million of the 846 million internet users play games in India. This means that around 35 per cent of the population became online gamers in 2021. Reports show the number of internet users in India is set to surpass one billion in 2023 while the number of online gaming users in India is also projected to grow from 481 million users in 2022 to 657 million users in 2025. 

Ojha is the Creator of chart-topping games on mobile and Playstation. He is an advisor for Betting & Gaming vertical in Samsung Harman. He has worked on VR experiences for AAA titles like Resident Evil, Battlefield, Gears of War, Final Fantasy, Hack Attack etc. and owns sports VR IPs. A veteran in video games, serious games, and simulation industry. An expert in AI and especially conversational AI and F2P games, Rajat has developed games which clocked over 85M downloads. He is also currently working on multiple theme park projects across the globe alongside developing India’s very first holistic and immersive Metaverse called PartyNite.

Excerpts

India can rule the metaverse

The metaverse has surprisingly evolved way faster in India than any other place, I would say, we are at the forefront right now. We are pushing the limits of metaverse at this moment.

Web 3  is the driving force behind the whole meta thing. I think India for the first time has the level playing field and if we actually do it right and go very carefully and don’t abuse or misuse these systems. I’m pretty sure in three years down the line. India will literally be on top of the entire metaverse movement for sure. I think right from the adoption to the technology to the brand NFC space, crypto space, blockchain space, I think India is already doing good and can rule that in next few years.  

Even government elections, for instance in Korea all the election campaigns are already on the meatverse. So I’m pretty sure when Modiji campaigns for his next elections, he will be on the metaverse to address the country and that’s definitely going to happen

The Evolution of NFPs and NFTs.

NFTs will enhance the game industry. If you take an example of a very popular game, Zedrun or XC Infinity, these two are great examples in front of me. Their valuation actually increases, largely because these are not the NFC which you are just buying for the sake of having a static photograph or image or picture. But you are actually play with your NFTs and the more you play, the more you participate in different kinds of engagement, and so the value of the NFT goes up.

All these are actually long term engagements, I can give you a stadium with 20 million people. There is no way in this world you’re going to get a stadium full of 20 million people. But in the metaverse, I can offer you that. What is the second thing? This is not an audience watching you on YouTube. This is an audience participating with you.

So movies will be released here. Trailers are getting premiered on the metaverse cinema hall. Then there is a film festival that is happening. So the brands are also capitalizing on this, because they are hosting or they can host these kind of events Another great thing is the immersive trailer. So you don’t just watch the trailer anymore, you are part of the trailer. Instead of seeing the trailer, you’re walking around the same speed, you’re meeting your stars and you’re giving them a hi five or you can talk to them. It’s all about participating in a greater, deeper way.

For the first time, in terms of technology, we consume pretty much the same thing. What Americans or Europeans consume or China consumes. Paying capacity of the Indian audience has also increased significantly. So I would say we don’t lack in terms of technology. What we need is creating high quality content, because the experience part is missing and there are not enough educational institutions that train in game design or content, I think in the US and EU they are far more mature. But in terms of execution, India can execute and has been executing. We have companies that are working for studios across the world. And if you see the India story that has been really good in the last two years to see all the progress, evolution, the mergers, acquisitions, Nasara going public, and there are some AAA titles being done in India technologically we are there. On the gaps – experience wise, maturity wise, yes, we are behind, but we’ll catch it.

Gaming

I think gaming has evolved immensely and during the pandemic time all the more, because people, were not socializing in person, they were socializing within games. And that’s one of the reason why you see a lot of PUBG night kind of thing, and then the whole boom of the metaverse also in the same space. So people defined new ways to connect. It actually opened a lot of new avenues and experiments and a lot of new markets. And Esports is super big now. In fact, Craftland is doing their BGMI contest and it is being aired on TV, which India had never seen before.

Theme Parks

Citing heavy losses to the theme parks industry, Rajat says the sector was badly hit by the pandemic. We being a game company, decided to venture into theme park because we figured out the theme parks are absolutely not different from a video game, which means we are telling a story and we are video game developers, we are storytellers and that’s exactly what we have been doing, a lot of content is there. For instance if it’s Diwali, the theme there would be a Diwali theme,  even inside the rides, If it’s is holi, then holi happens. Halloween, halloween happens. You don’t need to change those big huge infrastructure things. You just change the content or you just update the content. That’s how dynamic the theme park industry has become. But during Pandemic, of course there was a hit. But I would say it was a blessing in disguise, I think it allowed us time to shift from the traditional to the digital.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members