Catching up on technology
Tan Min Liang, the CEO of gaming hardware company Razer, paid us a visit. Here’s his take on the Indian gaming scene and future prospects.
What does the motion-sensing market look like in India?
I think India has already opened up well to the motion sensing market. I was in a cyber café yesterday and it was crazy to see the gamers play. From how it looks like, it's going to only grow in the next couple of years. India is among the youngest gaming populations in the world, and they're more open to new technology. And the easiest and most straightforward way to get new technology into the market is through gamers.
Counter-Strike was and still is such a huge phenomenon. What do you think is going to be the next big thing? Will it be a particular technology or game?
We see a lot more broadband penetration in India. Today there may be a couple of million broadband subscribers here, but we see a potential tipping point where it's going to go all the way to the top. However, we're not looking at individual pockets of gaming such as console and PC. We're looking at the entire market growing and the accelerators will be Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs).
What's now holding back India a little is the lack of gaming connectivity. But with the growth of cyber cafés, MMOs will work well as there's also the social aspect to them where players interact with each other. We've also seen that Indians like games based on the sports they watch. So cricket games, too, will find a huge market. Those are the trends we look forward to.
Is it feasible to make devices according to what the trend leans towards?
Right now, we're meeting gamers to understand their psychology and see the games they play. India is at the heart of our core gaming strategy. One of partners here is Indiagames, and so long as such companies see the potential and demand for certain peripherals, it makes sense to design them based on the gamers' needs. After all, the experience is what gaming is all about.
Are Indian gamers embracing consoles easily or are they still more comfortable with PCs?
We don't see console and PCs as mutually exclusive. Quite a few gamers play on both. We see both the segments growing exponentially. It's not like one's going to grow and stifle the other. There's a whole bunch of consoles that Indians use, and the overall growth in the segment looks good.
What age group do most Indian gamers belong to?
In terms of the demographics, it all depends on what defines a gamer. There are many people who don't openly admit to being gamers. But predominantly, there are a lot of young gamers here who are sophisticated so the spread is very wide. Gamers are as young as 9-12 years of age and go up to 30-35.
What comes after motion sensing for you?
It's the biggest thing right now, but there's a lot more coming up! From the top of my head, thought controlled applications and hardware! They're far into the future, but definitely a possibility.