The sheer variety of things you can do—shop, play, watch movies, eat—is enough to keep you occupied for a good few hours. You have everything under one roof, without having to go to different places for different needs.

Now look at this from another perspective. Why do brands open shops in malls? Because malls see ready-made, almost perpetual footfall of consumers. Malls also offer advertising opportunities, and maintained real estate and parking facilities, among other conveniences for users.

A gaming arcade is similar to a mall. You have a bunch of games to enjoy, compete with your group of friends, and win. New games keep getting added to the arcade at regular intervals, giving customers wider choices to entertain themselves. With technology, even gaming arcades have now gone online offering new platforms for gamers and game creators beyond the app stores.

The concept is simple. You have one umbrella mobile application where users can access multiple games. Winnings are accumulated across the users’ gameplay and credited to them. With the advent of cheap data connections and smartphones getting better specs at economical prices, hand-held gaming entertainment has taken on a new avatar, and going by the numbers and reviews pouring in, it is here to stay.

Before smartphones went mainstream, game development was mostly restricted to PC gaming and for those who could afford them, top-end gaming consoles. Another restricting aspect was that gaming titles had to be bought separately to build an ecosystem of multiple games. Technology has done away with these restrictions. Smartphone gaming has exploded over the past few months. The latest proof of this trend is the Call of Duty Mobile game crossing over a 100 million downloads in a week of its launch! What this phenomenon has also done is take gaming and e-sports across the board, doing away with boundaries and restrictions such as age, gender, region, etc.

The advantages for game developers and creators with smartphones becoming the centre-pieces of gaming are unparalleled. Developers have been publishing their games on mobile app platforms on various operating systems. With gaming platforms like Mobile Premier League (MPL), they now have a third option to publish their games. Moreover, open themselves up to a hitherto unexplored revenue stream.

A new revenue stream

What gaming platforms offer developers is the ability to monetize their games by letting users compete against each other. Gaming and e-sports takes on an even more competitive avatar and with one-on-one and multiplayer battles and the winners raking in the prizes. Developers’ monetize automatically as a function of the same. Consider this for example. Since the Quiz game was launched on Mobile Premier League (MPL) last month, users have won more than 70 lakh in total winnings just by competing in this one game. The developer of this game, SportsUnity, can stand to make as much as 1 crore per year in revenue through this. The quiz recently added the multi-player battle format and it’s doing exceedingly well. Of course, other existing revenue streams that developers earn from on app stores continue to add to their overall revenue. Game creators can monetize with advertisements and in-app purchases.

Existing audience

Another huge advantage that such platforms offer game developers is the presence of a ready-made audience, not unlike other mobile app stores. Let’s go back to the gaming arcade analogy. Whenever there’s a new game in the arcade, there is significant buzz around it. On such platforms, each new game sees a similar buzz. Traffic and engagement on new games is consistently good and users tend to spend more time competing on such games.

This essentially means that while developers have to invest time, effort and money in making their games visible on other mobile app platforms, they get the advantage of easy discoverability and an eager audience on a gaming app lowering their user acquisition cost.

Ease of integration

With the game ready and developed, creators simply have to integrate it into the platform. This process can be completed within a week with no changes to the game. Mobile gaming is on the cusp of something huge, and India, with its large population and booming internet ecosystem finds itself at the centre of the change.