Saumya Singh Rathore is the co-founder at WinZO, one of India’s leading online arcade gaming platform. Saumya is a Psychology post-graduate from The University of Manchester. She also hold a degree in Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
Agency Reporter – With the Internet population becoming older and more and more users coming from semi urban and rural areas, do you think the next level of growth propulsion in Indian gaming industry will come from Bharat while gaming companies face challenges like less paying users and cultural barriers?
Absolutely! More than 90% of our traffic comes from tier2/tier3 towns of Bharat. More than 50% of them are doing their Digital Transaction first time while paying for the game – which kind of invalidates that gaming cos may face less paying users. We have been able to achieve that with the Microtransaction model where our users can play games of as low as Rs. 2.
This category of audience has been driving for the gaming industry since 2016, with the launch of Jio. Affordable data, availability of cheap smartphones and launch of Digital India plan by the government led to the boost in numbers of online gamers/players.
We at WinZO localized the content on the platform by offering 12 languages, resolving the language barriers for Bharat. Our app is being adopted by 60% non-English speaking users. WinZO’s micro-transaction backed business model with 300M+ payments happening every month has proven to solve these challenges on a bigger scale.
AR – What genre of gaming is preferred by the Bharat population? Can you help us broadly profile this gaming audience with specific data pointers?
Bharat online gaming market currently stands at USD 290 million and is poised to grow beyond USD 1 billion by 2021. The audience is so diverse that quality content gets trending.
Casual and Arcade games such as Bubble Shooter, Candy Crush, Metro Surfer, etc. is a match for all groups and are always a go to games for quick entertainment. Action/First Person Shooting Games have been generally used only by younger audiences till now – but we have seen a huge learning curve in mature audiences – and now it is being picked by users across the ages.
Interestingly, we have never seen users sticking to one genre of the game on our platform. That is the beauty of being a platform, right? Users can easily switch to a new genre and try it out.
AR – With such widespread presence and following of Esports, do you think the industry now needs a specialized regulatory body of its own?
Esports is here to stay and is only going to get bigger with increasing awareness. The industry is still at a very inception stage in India though. Several self-governing federations have been proxying in for regulatory bodies – such as IFSG for Fantasy Sports. I think we are still at least 2 years away from that need.
AR – How is WinZO ensuring the community plays more responsibly? Since WinZO is tapping the Bharat population, what kind of awareness campaigns has the brand undertaken with regards to Responsible Gaming?
WinZO has ensured responsible gaming on the platform since day one. We have implied multiple checks on the platform, such as WinZO warns a player when the time spent on the app exceeds more than 2 hours, If a player loses more than 5 matches/games consecutively on the platform he is encouraged to do free plays/tutorials of the game/format and not allowed to participate on the platform for paid games for next couple hours.
The idea is not to give obstructions to the users. Goal is to make user not get carried away and make sure it’s a win win for both Users and WinZO.