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BGMI’s Success Propels India into Top 5 Esports Markets

4 min read
BGMIs Success Propels India into Top 5 Esports Markets

Fans were yelling nonstop, commentary couldn’t remain composed, and emotions were running high. This is neither a scenario from the just ended T20 World Cup 2024 or an Indian Premier League (IPL) match. The Battlegrounds Mobile India Series (BGIS), one of the most played esports titles in India, had this appearance at its conclusion.

According to industry estimates, the number of viewers of esports has doubled from 25 million in FY22 to 57 million in FY24, demonstrating the rising fan base of the sport. Thus, it was not surprising that esports enthusiasts at the BGIS event were thrilled to see and eager to take photographs and autographs with their idols.

The sights at BGIS demonstrated how multiplayer video games, or esports, are encroaching on territory that was once occupied by traditional sports. They were nothing short of the frenzy experienced on match day of a football or cricket match. The Asian Games now provide medal competitions in esports, and this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide whether to create new Olympic esports competitions.

READ MORE: Esports World Cup 2024: Complete Game Lineup and Schedule

TV airtime for major gaming tournaments like BGMI is growing and these events are being webcast. According to the Ey 2024 research, esports broadcasting hours are predicted to rise to 8,000 this year from 6,500 in 2023. It is projected that the average viewership would rise from 2.4 lakh to 3 lakh in 2024. There are now 20 platforms total spanning TV, social media, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, up from 14 the year before.

Broadcasting Rights Accuired by Star Sports Network

The Esports World Cup (EWC) 2024 broadcasting rights were recently acquired by Star Sports Network. With millions of viewers, BGMI Masters became the first Esports team to air on the Star Sports Network in India in 2022.

READ MORE: How Popular Is Valorant: Player Statistics and Numbers

According to an EY analysis, game revenues shot up to Rs 1,200 crore from Rs 1,100 crore the previous year, indicating that the esports business in India is expanding. Major event prize money rose from Rs 15 crore in 2022 to Rs 18.1 crore last year. This year, prize money is predicted to total Rs 22 crore. It is anticipated that the number of professional teams would rise from 22 in 2023 to 35 this year. Though the number of companies investing increased to 82 last year from 80 the year before, brand interest has been modest. This year, the number is predicted to decrease to 65.

What is Krafton’s position in India with regard to both user base and revenue?

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India leads the world in terms of strategic relevance due to its size and growth potential. China and the US have a 20-fold larger mobile market than South Korea, which is five to seven times larger than the Indian market. India is the market with the most growth potential at the moment, while not being a large market by any means. India is among Krafton’s top five markets in terms of sales because of BGMI’s performance there.

What financial plans  have for India of Krafton in esports?

Thus far, Krafton have invested between $160 and $170 million, beginning with Nodwin Gaming in February 2021. They had invested in over ten start-ups. This year, we completed one undisclosed investment, and we are currently in the negotiating phase for more investments. We’ll keep making investments in India’s gaming industry as well as the country’s IT industries. Not just start-ups, but prospects from more established businesses are also being considered. We are currently in the early phases of the conversation, so we cannot make any announcements anytime soon, but we will keep funding startups and growth-stage businesses. The purchases will be in the gaming sector, but given the scale of the Indian gaming market, we’ll also have a look at various areas like technology.

How is the rise in sponsorship income for esports competitions?

Krafton were only able to include IQOO (a consumer electronics business) in the BGIS this time. A problem arose with the onboarding of sponsors. Due to our later-stage sponsorship efforts, we now anticipate more sponsors attending BMPS, which is scheduled for the latter part of this year. Next year, there will be additional sponsors. In order to facilitate better discussions with sponsors, we make a concerted effort to finalize our esports calendar well in advance. They are not thrilled with the amount of sponsors for BGIS 2024. We still need to become better. Although interest in brand sponsorship for esports is modest, there are third-party tournaments where sponsors like AMD, LG, and Hyundai are regulars.