More than 207 million people in India watched live gaming videos on Facebook between July-August 2021, said the social networking giant, as it sets sights on the competitive game streaming market in the country.
"For those of us who have been following the Indian digital industry for a while, there's always been a belief that India is ready for gaming to take off in a substantial way. Finally, this is starting to happen. The last year and a half has seen a massive acceleration in gaming and we're seeing this on Facebook too,"said Facebook's India Managing Director Ajit Mohan at the company's first gaming event in the country.
Mohan said they have been working with homegrown creators to expand their presence on the platform. They are also working with creators who provide live streams in regional languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Punjabi, to attract more viewers to Facebook, he said.
India's game streaming market is dominated by Google's YouTube, with other players such as Krafton-backed Loco and Paytm-backed Rooter. Globally, Facebook Gaming also competes with Amazon-owned Twitch.
"India is emerging as one of the largest gaming markets in the world and we have seen an increased focus on gaming on Facebook, especially gaming videos in the country," said Gio Hunt, Vice-President, Gaming Business and Operations, Facebook.
On October 18, Facebook said that PUBG Mobile was the most streamed game by its creators in India during July-August 2021, followed by Garena's Free Fire, Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V, PUBG Battlegrounds and Moontoon's Mobile Legends.
Gaming to shape metaverse
Mohan said that gaming will play a key role in shaping the metaverse, which the company expects to be the next big computing platform.
"Our CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been sharing about Facebook's plans to help the metaverse, an immersive version of the internet, along with other companies and partners. While the metaverse is a multi-year project, we believe that gaming will play a key role in building the experiences around the metaverse and we're truly excited by the possibilities and one of the reasons we are starting to see the building blocks out of India today," he said.
Over the last couple of years, Facebook has revamped its games experience for users by going beyond the social games it was once popular for by adding a clutch of new features and services, including game streaming, virtual reality (via Oculus) and cloud gaming.
Mohan said their work in gaming is focused on "building communities and connecting people" and noted that more than 20 million people in India were active members of gaming groups on the platform between July and August this year.
India is also the third largest market for the social networking giant in terms of game play sessions, clocking 234 million sessions in the two months. "Our end goal is to build a platform, which enables developers to reach new audiences, connect with players and monetise the games," he said.
Globally, around 900 million people are engaging with games on the platform on a monthly basis. This includes those who are playing games, watching game videos, or connecting in gaming groups.
"We've had 40 billion sessions of instant games played on the platform, with 1.5 million people playing cloud games on a monthly basis. And recently, we crossed an important milestone of having 1 billion hours of gaming videos watched on the platform in a single quarter," Hunt said.
He also noted that developers from 49 countries were distributing their games on Facebook Gaming.Read
: Facebook looks to capitalise on India's gaming boom