Gamers in India

February 9, 2012

Hey. I’m a 17 year old Indian gamer named Luv (last name withheld for privacy reasons). Silly name, I know, but I can defend myself, saying that my name is based on the Luv-Kush brothers from the Ramayana. But yes, it’s a double meaning joke, albeit better than the double-meaning jokes of the recent movies we’re having.

Today, I thought of starting a blog because I needed a way to release my opinions, much the way a man needs to relieve himself because he’s had too much to drink and the bathroom is completely full and he can’t stand outside for fear of being looked at the wrong way and OH MY GOD THAT WAS THE WORST COMPARISON  EVER. An extremely shabby start to my blogging, I must say.

So I’ll refrain from humiliating myself further and get started. Why is it hard to be a gamer in India?

If I start on the positives on gaming here, a lot of PC gamers might ponder over pacing their bags and moving to India. For starters, the price of games here is very low, compared to America. The maximum price a game can cost here in India is Rs 999. In american dollars, that’s equivalent to  about 21 dollars. Unlike the mostly standard rate of games in America, prices here can go even lower. Some examples are given below.

  • Grand Theft Auto IV Collection:-  Rs 699=14 dollars
  • Saints Row The Third:- Rs 699=14 dollars
  • Batman Arkham City:- Rs 999=21 dollars

And some old titles:-

  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas:- Rs 499=10 dollars
  • F.E.A.R:- Rs 299=6 dollars
  • The Orange Box:- Rs 699=14 dollars

I’m sure the very few US guys reading might be gasping. These are all original, legally brought computer games. The reason for such a price drop is the PC gaming scene in India has always been very strong. This is why India has it’s own factories to produce these games at low prices. So, why am I  saying that the gaming scene here sucks? There are primarily four reasons.

  1. The Internet Connections Suck

Let me elaborate for a second. Indians are, by nature, very thrifty. And here, all the decent broadband connections are horribly overpriced, at least for us. We typically have to pay Rs 2100 for an unlimited 1 mbps connection, and anything lower for the same speed results in either  a horribly slow speed, or high speed connections with unforgiving data transfer rate limits, like 5 to 15 GB. And in today’s day and age, where game updates are typically about 200 MB, this is simply not enough. 2 mbps is a distant dream for most of us.

This happens to me more than you think

  1. Almost No One Has Any Idea About Modern PC Rigs

My cousin brother wanted a gaming rig, but since he had no idea about how to buy one, he instead brought a second-hand 8,000 buck-gaming rig. It came with a prehistoric motherboard with no PCIe slots, support for upto DDR memory, and a Pentium III processor. This isn’t a particularly unique case, either. A lot of Indians are apalled at hearing that computers can cost upto 20,000 bucks, and a decent gaming rig can cost upto 35,000. In fact, a lot of people don’t know what a graphics card is, or why it is so important. This is why there are so few computer shops in India today. It amuses me, to this day, how black-market tech dealers sell “NOIKA” and “oPhone” mobiles and “320 GB” micro-SD cards, and manage to get away with it. These dealers will lie with a bare face that their dubiously branded box contains a Pentium VI processor with 5 GHz speed, and think they are so smart. Personally, I like to call them out, preferably with a few customers of theirs listening in.

Also known as "Glowing-Box-Thingy" phobia

  1. There Are No Notable Indian Game Developers

Despite the stereotypical image of the Indian nerd, this is very true. There is absolutely no worthwhile game developing company here. In every clothing mall with obligatory game cabinets, you can find a lot of substandard games by some company called “Redmond Entertainment” or something sold at low prices like Rs 99(2 dollars), most probably for oblivious parents wanting to buy some computer game for their kids on a tight schedule. In fact, and I’m not joking, I saw a game called “Butcher” once by them, which bore the EXACT SAME BOX ART as God Of War II. Look at the back, and you see that it’s just a side scrolling game with old-looking graphics. There are some high-profile game developers here, but their success rate here has literally been zero, since all they have made is a Hanuman game for the PS2 (in 2010!), a PC game tying in with the movie Ghajini, and another movie tie-in game of Ra.One(for PS2 and PS3). All have been pretty much lambasted by our game reviewers here.

The gods are not pleased

  1. The console gaming scene here is almost non-existent

For about eleven long years, the only popular console here has been the PS2. In fact, Sony India still publicizes the PS2, and despite the long availability of it’s successor, PS3 ads started coming on a regular basis only from 2010. Consoles have an image of only being for the “rich kids” here, and sadly, it is very true. Except for the PS2, all console games are imported from overseas, due to which they retain their price tag of 60 dollars here too. Remember all the fantastic prices I listed at the beginning of the article? Those are only for the PC and PS2. So you can imagine our situation, where we have to explain to our parents about why we need a console for gaming when a PC can not only give the same experience for so much cheaper, but can do so much more.

Anyways, thank you for reading this article if you did so. Please comment, so I don’t feel like a loner on the internet.

Do it for this puppy.

You are powerless to resist