If you are a serious gamer, chances are that you would have come across scores of ads popping up on your mobile screen asking if you want to purchase extra moves, lives or magic potions. Some developers may take it a step further, especially if the app is ‘free’ to begin with. They are sometimes not just obtrusive to a point where they pretty much force you to pay up or quit, but also sometimes specifically engineered to get into your way and solicit clicks.
Most often than not, you may also be left wondering how that mysterious icon ended up on your smartphone’s home screen.
The bane that advertisements are, you would think. And yet, they’re there for a reason. After all, developers need to put bread on the table, just like everybody else. It is these ads that help you play your favourite game without paying a ‘premium’ for it. This especially holds true for a country like India, where about 99.5% of app users are not willing to pay for games they play, as per industry observers.
In a sharp contrast, smartphone gaming is picking up in India like never before. As per a report by Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights released last year, one in five smartphone users in India spend close to 15 minutes a day playing games, making it one of the most popular activities on the smartphone.
In general, most smartphone users in the country are light gamers and spend just over two minutes a day on smartphone gaming, but one out of seven are heavy gamers and spend over an hour every day, the Nielson report noted.
However, as the demand rises, so do the expectations of gamers who expect better graphics and quality in games. This is where the money factor comes in, says Manish Agarwal, chief executive officer, Reliance Entertainment Digital. “About 99.5% of Indian gamers are not willing to pay for games they play. But, as a developer, you need money to maintain the quality of the games you develop. So these ads come to our rescue,” he adds.
Reliance Entertainment Digital’s flagship gaming portal, Zapak.com, is a leading player in the country with offerings such as Reel Steel World Robot Boxing, Total Recall and F1, among others, seeing huge downloads globally. In India, the Chota Bheem series is quite in demand, says Agarwal.
Mahip Vyas, head, alliances and distribution, Games2win, a game developer,