How cricket can be India’s esports export to the world

By creating high-quality cricket-based video games and competitive gaming leagues, India can leverage its expertise in traditional cricket to create a strong homegrown competitive esports title that can rival the best in the world.

By  Rajan NavaniApr 24, 2023 3:12 PM
How cricket can be India’s esports export to the world
From the streets to the stadiums, India’s love for cricket is unparalleled, with the sport being ingrained in the nation’s DNA. By leveraging this passion, India can create a strong esports export to the world. One of the ways to achieve this goal is through the creation of cricket-based video games. Nautilus Mobiles’ Real Cricket is in fact one of the top grossing games in India, a feat that further solidifies its potential to become a global esports gaming entity. (Representative Image: Michael Weir via Unsplash)

Cricket has always been an integral part of India’s sporting culture. It is a sport that unites the nation, brings people together and provides a source of national pride. With the growth of esports in recent years, many are now looking at how India’s passion for cricket can be translated into success in the world of competitive gaming.

The rise and rise of esports

Esports has exploded in popularity globally in recent years, especially with competitive gaming now being recognized as a legitimate sport by the International Olympic Committee. As per the Global Esports Market report, the global esports market size was valued at US$1.39 billion in 2022. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.7% during the forecast period (2022-2030) with India being one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. A report by Ernst & Young predicts that by 2025, esports viewership and revenue will quadruple to INR 1,100 crore in India, making it one of the countries with the highest growth.

Even the government’s official recognition for esports becoming a part of multi-sports events has given the industry a strong push, showing us all the bright future the industry is destined for.

Genres ruling the roost

In a space as dynamic as video gaming, popular genres often look different for different countries, age groups, and gamer types. Dominating the charts are action or adventure, shooter, multiplayer battle arena (MOBA), and battle royale. Sports, racing, and puzzles also feature in the top as per many reports. The thing to note though is, till date, no Indian title features in the global rankings of ttop esports games; major titles are all international with an extensive fan-base across countries including India. One could argue, nothing could fill this gap better than India’s favourite sport because not only is it a unifying factor for the country, cutting across demographics and psychographics, the sport also has a strong fan base in multiple global nations.

The cricket factor

From the streets to the stadiums, India’s love for cricket is unparalleled, with the sport being ingrained in the nation’s DNA. By leveraging this passion, India can create a strong esports export to the world. One of the ways to achieve this goal is through the creation of cricket-based video games. Nautilus Mobiles’ Real Cricket is in fact one of the top grossing games in India, a feat that further solidifies its potential to become a global esports gaming entity. The popularity of games such as EA

Sports’ FIFA and NBA 2K has shown that there is a significant market for sports-based video games. By creating high-quality cricket games that are both realistic and entertaining, India can tap into this market and introduce the sport to a global audience.

Level up

Another way in which simulated cricket can be India’s esports export is through the creation of competitive gaming leagues and high-octane tournaments with quality games, players with advanced skills making for harder competitions, and more viewers than before. India has already established itself as a major player in the world of traditional cricket, with the Indian Premier League (IPL) being one of the most popular and monetarily successful domestic leagues in the world. By creating a similar league for competitive gaming, India can provide a platform for talented gamers to showcase their skills and compete against the best in the world.

Real Cricket has been focusing on just this and continues to invest in more such high-stakes competitions. Our recently executed Independence Cricket League in association with Rooter saw an aggregate viewership of about 15 Million. If this fragment of the esports pie sees more interests, and investments from mainstream opinion leaders like cricket players and celebrities, India will definitely be able to transport the ‘Made in India’ Real Cricket to global esports shores.

Finally, India can use its expertise in traditional cricket to gain a competitive advantage. The skills required to excel in traditional cricket, such as hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and strategic thinking, are all transferrable to competitive simulated cricket gaming. By developing a pool of talented gamers with a background in cricket, India can create a strong esports team that can compete at the highest level.

In conclusion

With the growth of esports and India’s passion for cricket, the potential for success is immense. By creating high-quality cricket-based video games, establishing competitive gaming leagues, and leveraging its expertise in traditional cricket, India can create a strong homegrown competitive esports title that can rival the best in the world. As they say in cricketing lingo, the conditions are just right, the pitch is ready, it is now time for India to hit it out of the park.

Rajan Navani is the CEO and Founder, JetSynthesys. He is also the Chairman of the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Council on Future Businesses Views expressed are personal.


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First Published on Apr 24, 2023 1:54 PM

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