Web3 gaming could provide potentially better monetisation opportunities for game developers in India, the country's top gaming founders said in a panel discussion on May 5.
Web3 is dubbed to be the next iteration of the Internet, which will be decentralised and run on blockchain.
"Monetisation on games has been a challenge in the India market, even in a freemium model, except for a few top grossing games. The in-app purchase (IAP) conversions has been low and eCPMs (effective cost per thousand impressions) have been fairly low. I think web3 is providing a completely different set of monetization opportunities with potentially higher ARPU (average revenue per user)" said Nazara Technologies founder Nitish Mittersain in the panel discussion held at IGDC Blockchain Gaming Summit in Bengaluru.
Apart from Mittersain, the panel consisted of Mobile Premier League co-founder Sai Srinivas and JetSynthesys founder Rajan Navani. It was moderated by India Game Developer Conference (IGDC) convenor Rajesh Rao.
Srinivas said Web3 can be as big of an opportunity for India as Web2 was for China, which is currently the world's biggest video games market with an estimated size of $47 billion.
"I think China in a way has abandoned blockchain in one way or the other. Most of the Web3 development actually is not happening there. I believe that India, on the other hand, really has a golden opportunity at this point," he said.
Srinivas, however, noted that there should not be any ambiguity in the policy framework for this industry.
"If you look at any new technology, any country that's really leveraged it well is a country that's laid a robust policy framework for it. We need to ensure that the policy frameworks for this industry are clear, whatever it is, it should be black and white. There shouldn't be a situation where developers who are building stuff should be in ambiguity. I think that's the worst case scenario, since that will create a lot of problems," he said.
"Our job is to ensure that we create a framework where people use these products responsibly, and we do everything to make that happen. But we should not stop technology for one or two edge case scenarios, which I think can be very well moderated and controlled," he added.
With growing crypto adoption in India, blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT)-based gaming firms are gaining steam and it is expected to be one of the key trends in the sector in 2022, Moneycontrol reported on December 24.
"Why blockchain is exciting from a gaming perspective is that it now fundamentally gives identity to an asset which is verifiable. Once the assets become constant, it automatically gets value and can eventually be traded, which can create more value," Srinivas said.
Navani said India has played catch up on many fronts including mobile phones, 3D worlds, artificial intelligence, and gaming but Web3 could be an area that has massive opportunity "if we are able to optimize and create experiences that will also lead to livelihoods of people".
"It's hard to get people to spend, but if you're able to make a gamer producer first or (provide) a way to earn some livelihood, and then make him a consumer, where he's then spending. That economics can actually be shaped up and modeled in a country like India better than in any other country," he said.
Bridging the Web2-Web3 divide
Srinivas believes that people who can bridge the divide between Web2 and Web3 well, by providing web2 interfaces with web3 monetisation models, are the ones who will likely succeed since the users are still on the internet and most Web3 products have very miniscule daily active users.
"If you look at the (Crypto) exchanges or OpenSea (an NFT marketplace), it's essentially a web two interface but giving you a web3 product, so I think that's very important, because the customer really doesn't care whether it's web3, web4, web5, or whatever, he just wants a good experience" he said.
Mittersain, however, cautioned of an expected shakeout in the market since there is "currently a lot of froth" with several people starting out with a short-term perspective and advised potential developers to focus on their core product value proposition."If you are able to do that at this point of time and start with that concept to deliver a quality Web3 product, I think 95 percent of the battle will be won," he said.