(Disclaimer: This blog is written from the perspective of gamers, so requesting you to play along)
Georgopol, Novorepnoye, and Pochiniki! If these names don’t ring a bell, then you haven’t had the chance to be part of one of the biggest gaming revolutions in our country. PUBG or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been one of the most played games throughout the last years. Toppling the evergreen multiplayer games like CS: GO and Dota over, it managed to maintain the top spot for a very long time. From reaching the 400 Million mark in downloads to fighting a ban in India, PUBG has had its own version of the ‘Battle Royale’. However, nothing has been able to stop or even slow down the game’s popularity.
While we wait at the loading area before the game starts a lot of questions pop-up in our head. So, we decided to ask our team to help us out with this article while they were dodging gunfire from an enemy team. (These stunts were tried by experts, don’t ever disturb your PUBG playing friends. I repeat EVER!)
A new player joins your squad - E-Games
Game developers have begun shifting their focus to making games that accessible, affordable and fun, driving the entire industry towards a new era of gaming. E-games were the next trend that was soon to engulf the whole market. With new smartphones facilitating high-end graphic support and hardware advancements allowing them to give the best gameplay experience, people were interested to invest more time in playing games.
Thanks to the rise of multiplayer games, gamers began to show interest in organising and playing at small competitions held by themself. Due to the introduction of streaming platforms like Hitbox, Twitch, etc., the public also found a place to watch these competitions live while. As the number of people participating kept increasing at a massive rate, many brands and gaming companies capsized this opportunity as they created a whole another subset of E-games, i.e. E-Sports.
E-sports transformed online gaming into a spectator sport. Drawing parallels to how traditional sports fans enjoyed watching top athletes play their favourite games, the spectators here got to watch video gamers compete against each other in a virtual environment. From games like League of Legends, Counter-strike to traditional sports-related games like NBA2k and FIFA, the various games this specific gaming universe included was not restricted. And if you are wondering about the turnouts for these events, let us draw you a picture.
The Intel Extreme Masters tournament, held in Katowice, Poland, drew 173,000 fans to the stadium over two weekends.
Regional Content – The Level Up E-Sports Required
As thousands began turning up to watch gamers play live and millions more were ready to watch it on the internet, media and big brands soon began to see the potential of Esports as a staple of the TV sports channels. As the global market kept growing at an alarming rate, India picked up steam as well. India's mobile games market is predicted to be valued at $1.1 billion, and the number of users is projected to become 628 million by the end of this year.
Venture capitalists and investors began taking a huge interest in the E-sports market, as they went on an investment spree to capture a majority of the stakes at the right moment so that they can reap the benefits in the future.
According to a study conducted by KPMG, the source of a huge chunk of digital traffic is coming from rural and regional markets. As the gap between affordability and accessibility continues to shorten, the consumption rates of regional content have skyrocketed.
As E-sports rely more on the number of people who are ready to invest and watch the games, E-sport brands have understood the need to tap into regional content. Regional content has been the ace up their sleeve when it comes to marketing and promotions. They have learned the importance of understanding the needs and wants of gamers in every region. A better understanding of the local markets helps them in cultivating and engaging with passionate gamer communities. And the use of regional content has proven to deliver the best results as well.
Last year, PUBG MOBILE created its own web-series on its YouTube channel for India called ‘Dosti Ka Naya Maidan’. This five-episode series featured popular players and streamers and had PUBG Mobile as a central theme. It showed how the game connected people from different aspects of life. The series was applauded by the community and it garnered over 22.6M views.
By adding celebrity culture also into the mix, the marketing plans for promoting specific E-sport events were well-received. For example, using Badshah, the Indian rapper to release a song with PUBG Mobile as the main focus, a broad audience base was covered. By enlisting everyone from regional actors to sports stars, the brands have started to cash in on the regional market already.
The future of E-sports - An action-replay!
The winning team is regional content! With E-sports producers like ESL also spreading its wings to broadcast championships across 19 different languages, the necessity to tap into the regional content market is quite clear. And as E-sports brands it is the right way to exemplify your reach among the audience of the country which is known for its diversity. By tapping into the regional content, you can approach your direct audience base in their own language. This helps you to make an emotional connect with your audience and also understand them better.
And as our team ended their game while they explained all this, we couldn’t stop but look into their screen. ‘WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER’, read the message. Tandoori Chicken Dinner would make more sense said one of them jokingly. And it’s true, it does!