Gaming, particularly mobile gaming, is continuing to soar in the entertainment business. As people seek social interaction and enjoyable ways to spend their free time, more people are playing games than ever before. On the other hand, a goofy little phone game can sometimes develop into hours of nonstop playing. If you’re seeking for the most addictive games for your iPhone or Android phone, games on MX currently has over 100 free hyper casual games with numerous tiers of tournaments and prizes for victors. The number of visits to the platform and the amount of time spent on it have both increased dramatically over the last year.
MX Player’s gaming inventory spans a wide range of genres, including popular Indian board games, strategy, quizzes, racing, arcade, sports, and activities, among others, and caters to a wide range of users across the country. Since its introduction, the brand has seen an increase in the number of users on its gaming platform. In an interview with Shweta Srivastava, Nakul Kapur, Head of International Business and Games at MX Player, discusses his journey in the esports sector, what makes MX Player unique, and much more. Excerpts:
Kindly tell us about your journey and experiences in the video games and esports industry.
We started MX Games in February 2020 with a single format of gaming available in practice mode. Over the last 2 years, we have grown our selection of games from 9 to over 100+ across multiple genres to cater to our large and diverse set of users on the platform. Our gaming inventory ranges across categories from popular Indian board games to strategy, quizzes, racing, arcade, sports, action amongst others. The genres like Casual, Arcade, Survival, Strategy and Action constitute nearly 71% of the total gameplays on the platform.
In the last 2 quarters – during Diwali and Christmas in the year 2021, we also introduced real-world rewards and features like Jackpot on the games tab for our Indian gamers which were well received by the audiences. The platform also has virtual currencies, PvP battles, tournaments and social features to provide an immersive gaming experience. Our recently released gaming report is a study of how users spent billions of minutes on MX Games in 2021 with a lot of users coming in from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The report also gave insights on which cities topped the list in terms of usage, engagement and which genre of games did well on our platform.
How has the gaming industry been booming or has boomed since COVID-19?
With limited choices of entertainment due to the pandemic, people explored online gaming as one of the options to keep themselves entertained, and this has proved to be a major turning point for the online/casual gaming sector. Another reason is the increase in the usage of smartphones and internet penetration across the country. The other suitable factors like an increase in the supply of world-class titles, games with localized content, and new features such as multiplayer and social elements have helped in the rise of the gaming industry. Considering these favorable factors and a continuous rise in the user consumption, we can say that the Indian gaming sector has now become one of the mainstream entertainment options for consumers across the nation.
When it comes to games, who are your audiences?
Since our games are available for free across Android and iOS, most of our audiences are millennials with a majority being male.
In the recent report released by us, the study shows that nearly 96% playing users were below the age of 35, with 74.3% of them being millennials. In terms of gameplays, 94% were from users below the age of 35, with 69.4% of them being millennials. The male to female ratio was 80:20.
How Games at MX fared in 2021?
Since the time we have launched games on MX in February 2020, we have seen a steady growth in the user’s consumption pattern. However, the year 2021 saw an exceptional rise in the number of gamers on the platform and the total time spent on it. The onset of the pandemic gave rise to an upward curve in the digital gaming world. Some of the key findings of the report we recently released were:
- With an average of 56 minutes per day, users spent a total of 4.35 billion minutes gaming on the platform.
- 7 billion game plays were recorded in the year with the highest being 16.1 million in a single day
- More than 8000 game sessions were completed on the platform every minute
- In terms of geography – Patna, Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and Mumbai were among the top 10 cities that contributed to 66% of the gameplays on the platform. Bihar topped the list in terms of gameplays & engagement
- The non-metro user engagement was 20% higher than the metro user’s engagement
- In terms of audience, 96% playing users were below the age of 35, with 74.3% of them being millennials. In terms of gameplays, 94% were from users below the age of 35, with 69.4% of them being millennials. The male to female ratio was 80:20
- Categories like Casual, Arcade, Survival, Strategy and Action constituted nearly 71% of the total gameplays on the platform.
How many games do you offer on your platform and what have been their responses? What next now?
Our gaming inventory ranges across categories from popular Indian board games to strategy, casual, arcade, survival, strategy and action games. These have constituted nearly 71% of the total gameplays on the platform and among these, Bubble Blast was India’s most favorite game with over 336 million gameplays in 2021. Whereas in MX City Cricket Battle, more than 80,000 sixes were hit every hour out of the total number of runs scored by the users. Similarly, during the Boom Knight game, more than 57,000 missiles were launched every hour.
Recently, we have introduced score-based games and a leaderboard system. We further plan to expand our portfolio of battle mode games as well.
With so many popular gaming platforms already available in the industry, what makes MX Player distinct from similar projects inflowing the space?
The online gaming sector has seen an increase in India, and we want to further leverage this by offering high quality games to further increase our engagement on the platform. MX Player is one of the largest platforms in the free to play casual gaming segment. With over 100+ games across different genres, we are at the forefront of creating unique experiences for casual gamers with games like Bubble Blast, Flap Up, Air Lift and Arrow Master amongst others. We have gamified the entire experience for the users with the MX coin economy being at the core of this exercise. Users can earn coins by engaging in multiple activities on the platform and inturn use those coins to convert to Amazon coupon codes or coupons of various brands like Zomato, Myntra, CoinDCX, Tata Cliq etc. Our focus has always been on being an “Everytainment app” and we’re very bullish about games doing well and being an important part of our offerings.
Your parting thoughts on MX Player’s plan and vision for the coming years and the direction in which esports and game streaming is headed in India?
The gaming industry is growing globally and we at MX would want to be at forefront to bring that change in India. We are looking to scale our efforts on the gaming tab to our entire user base and are now diversifying the category of games that are available on our platform by adding newer genres like battle-mode, fantasy, card games, Indian board games, etc. We are also looking to create a Meta within our platform that would enable us to have a deeper engagement with our existing and new users. This is a key focus area for us at MX Player which would further enable us to take gaming to the next wave of millions of new users across the globe.