With the mobile gaming industry expected to grow exponentially in India, OnMobile has introduced a mobile cloud gaming platform, ONMO.
We recently caught up with Krish Seshadri, Chief Executive Officer, ONMO, to know more about India’s gaming scenario and the adoption of crypto payments. Edited excerpts:
Do you see Indian consumers adopting eSports and skill-based Real Money Gaming in a big way?
Mobile gaming in India is expected to cross $3-4B in a few years and has over 300 million users in India. Currently, skill-based real money gaming is a big revenue contributor driven by user paying propensity. Esports has hit an inflexion point as tens of millions of Indians watch and play esports today. eSports will continue driving gaming adoption, higher engagement and increased revenue across tournaments, 1v1 battles, fantasy sports, publisher fees and media rights, spanning casual games, mid-core and hard-core titles.
ONMO is excited to be a part of this evolving journey for social esports in India. Post pandemic, we have seen an increase in the popularity of short-format content consumption and other bite-sized entertainment platforms. At ONMO, we believe integrating short-form content and esports on a single platform can be the basis for interactive social experiences and transforming the mobile gaming landscape.
What are exciting trends in esports which you see gaining momentum in India?
Competitions across casual games and mid-core titles through multiple formats are growing. We see the formalization of esports leagues, licensing agreements with top IP owners, media rights and brand sponsorships. eSports and streaming platforms are also attracting colossal viewership, attracting more advertisers who will use esports tournament players to gain reach and audience.
The pandemic has bolstered the rise of esports in India and made it more prominent in Tier 2 and 3 cities. In addition, there has been an increase in the interest of individuals wanting to explore a career path within eSports since live streaming eSports tournaments are gaining momentum.
Players have also adapted themselves to skill-based real-money gaming, allowing them to create income streams from what they love – playing short-format games.
ONMO has developed an exciting concept of combining streaming, social gaming, and esports. How does it make gameplay exciting for users, and what is unique about it?
ONMO is opening the gaming market for those who do not have access to consoles and hardware that are usually required to play games. ONMO’s short-format Beat It tournaments, battles and cloud gaming provide a platform for the users to play games on the go with multiple games just a click away.
Users do not need to download any App or files as ONMO is available on a web app and can be accessed through a Browser on your mobile phone. This constitutes a shift for casual gamers. Furthermore, the gameplay becomes exceptionally exciting for users as ONMO has tried to incorporate features like streaming, social gaming, and esports to let their users enjoy real-time gaming experiences with no hassle of downloading or installing any game.
What are your expansion plans for India?
The confluence of casual gaming and esports is emerging as a viable business model for gaming platforms in India. ONMO aims to grow its player base to over 50 million users in India. The company launched its Beat It tournaments supported by the Just Beat it campaign in May 2022. In addition to our B2C platform, ONMO is aggressively exploring telco distribution partnerships leveraging OnMobile’s relationship with telcos.
Sometime back, ONMO had enabled transactions through Bitcoin for players. When will the service be made available for Indian players?
Gamers are habituated to virtual goods and currencies and our goal is to provide them with the best experience. Keeping in mind the rapid adoption of Crypto, we have recently integrated Bitcoin as a payment option for users outside India to play games on ONMO, while users in India can continue playing using real money (INR). Our team is working towards adding other Cryptocurrencies to the payment methods in the ONMO wallet.
Many parents complain about esports’ addictive nature, its impact on their children’s education, and diminishing interest in physical sports. What steps has ONMO taken or plans to create awareness among the players to address parents’ complaints?
Esports’ addictive nature is just the other side of the coin. Due to its easy access and social peer pressure, individuals tend to give into it. ONMO has multiple security measures outlined on its platform to prevent this influence. This includes an age restriction enabling users only above 18 years to use the platform. Also, ONMO’s short-format gaming ensures that consumption happens in short bursts and not at length.