Pratiksha Nagori is the human resource manager, Strategy & Compliance for Sumo India’s Studio, part of Sumo Group. She believes since Sumo is building up a team that has a massive target to achieve, her major role is to build up the strategy to achieve the target. Sumo Group, headquartered in the UK, operates across 15 studios, and award-winning development teams in the UK, Poland, Canada, India and the US. It is one of the UK’s largest providers of end-to-end creative development and co-development services to the video games and entertainment industries.
The gaming industry has seen rapid growth in India over the past few months, growth attributed to the rise in internet penetration as a result of the pandemic-induced restrictions and lockdowns. As stated in a recent KPMG report, the Indian gaming sector made 544 million USD profit in a six month period , starting from August 2020 and is anticipated to grow from 60 billion INR in 2021 to a whopping 169 billion INR by 2025. The sector is currently male-dominated in terms of its workforce, however, more and more women are breaking in to the industry and finding rewarding careers in the sector. Let’s explore further the current landscape of women in gaming in India and how can the industry boom in the next few years.
Women in gaming
According to a survey by Google and Niko Partners, last year women accounted for nearly 41 per cent of all gamers in the US. Asia accounts for 48 per cent of the world’s total gaming revenue and women make up 40 to 45 per cent of that Asian gaming population (including India). Women gamers are gradually increasing, especially in the country, and various research has been undertaken to understand their inspiration to play games and their gameplay behaviours. Studies have revealed that the motivation to play games does vary across genders. While French women gamers seek competition or to challenge themselves in addition to escapism, French men play games to ease stress and to accomplish success through competition. Taiwanese and American women players play for achievement and for social reasons, whereas men play to relax and pass their leisure time. The female gamers in particular play popular online games due to easy access, ease of use and low investment.
Nearly all the research studies feature the rich intricacy of the female gaming population. Women are looking for equal opportunities within the gaming sector and are raising questions about whether the industry is adequately structured and edcuated to serve this growing cohort. Various organizations are pushing for a reimagination of the gaming business to ensure discrimination has no place in the industry. They are looking to address the culture of the workforce and products from the perspectives of the community of gamers.
Now more than ever an increasing number of women have begun to study and complete their education in the gaming sector. With more women paving the way for other women within the industry, it can be said that things are gradually taking a positive turn in the corporate world. The surge in the number of women in leading positions at gaming firms has inspired women to apply for not just executive-level positions, but high-level development roles as well. Moreover, CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives have led leading investors to put resources only into games/gaming companies, where at least one woman is in a high-level position.
The bottom line
The new normal world is an ideal opportunity for Indian game developers seeking to launch games for the Indian audience. It’s about time that they take women gamers more seriously as they are probably going to fuel the sector’s growth in the forthcoming years. Furthermore, it is encouraging to witness that some notable gaming studios are taking heed of the trend and are trading traditionally male-dominated games for ones featuring women in a leading role. Slowly but surely, the overall industry is evolving to improve things into a more comprehensive, inclusive and gender-sensitive society. This seems to be a great time for women developers and gamers to begin their professions in this already emerging sector.