In a strategic move to capitalize on the burgeoning mobile gaming market in India, Niantic, the US-based developer behind the global sensation Pokémon GO, has unveiled ambitious plans for the subcontinent. The company’s vision is clear: multiply its Indian user base by ten within the next three years.
- Market Potential: India has over 650 million smartphone users, making it a lucrative market for mobile gaming.
- Cultural Integration: Pokémon GO is now available in Hindi, with over 800 Pokémon renamed in the language.
- Competition Strategy: Niantic aims to leverage AR technology and culturally relevant elements to stand out.
- Local Team: Niantic has established a team in India to focus on marketing, business development, and operations.
A Market Ripe for Expansion
India’s mobile gaming landscape has witnessed an explosive growth, with the number of smartphone users surpassing the 650 million mark. Recognizing the potential, Omar Tellez, VP of Emerging Markets at Niantic, shared with IANS the company’s roadmap to deepen its footprint in the country. “My objective is to increase 10 times the number of users that we have in India in the next three years and to count India among the top five markets globally,” Tellez remarked.
Strengthening Cultural Ties
In a bid to fortify its commitment to the Indian market, The Pokémon Company, in collaboration with Niantic, launched Pokémon GO in Hindi earlier this month. This initiative also saw the renaming of over 800 Pokémon in Hindi. Tellez believes that embracing more languages, delving deeper into culturally relevant elements, and intertwining entertainment will be pivotal in driving the game’s growth in India. He also emphasized the significance of live events, special pricing, and exclusive bundles tailored for Indian players.
Facing the Competition
When questioned about the competition from other popular games like BGMI and Call of Duty (CoD) in India, Tellez expressed confidence in Pokémon GO’s unique offerings. He highlighted the game’s augmented reality (AR) features and the company’s platform, Lightship, which has been embraced by Indian developers. “Our AR technology is tuned to be used by Indians,” Tellez added.
Building a Local Presence
Niantic has also established a team in India, a move that underscores its commitment to understanding and catering to the local market. This team, comprising around 13 members, focuses on marketing, business development, and operations.
With Pokémon GO being the most downloaded game in history, boasting over 1 billion downloads, Niantic is optimistic about its growth trajectory in India. The company is also exploring the possibility of organizing an eSports tournament or Player vs Player (PvP) competitions for Indian gamers.
In conclusion, Niantic’s strategic vision for India is a testament to the country’s immense potential in the mobile gaming sector. With its user-centric approach and commitment to cultural integration, Pokémon GO is poised to redefine the gaming landscape in India. As the company embarks on this ambitious journey, it will be intriguing to see how it navigates the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.