Loco dominates as India’s leading game streaming platform, experiencing unprecedented growth with the resurgence of popular games and a booming gaming market.
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Loco’s Dominance in the Gaming Sector
Loco, a frontrunner in esports and live streaming, has become India’s top game-streaming platform.
The secret to its success?
A targeted focus is mobile games, which are more appealing than console or PC games in India.
The recent return of gaming giants – Battlegrounds Mobile India and Free Fire – to the market has only boosted its viewership.
Anirudh Pandita, Loco’s cofounder, drawing a comparison in an interview with media, remarked, “Loco has become similar to the Twitch of India, centering on streaming game videos and broadcasting esports content.”
Founded in 2017 by Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, Loco’s workforce now boasts over 150 individuals.
India: A Gaming Goldmine
India’s gaming market potential is undeniably vast.
By 2023, India became the world’s most populous nation and retained its title as Asia’s fastest-growing games market, as highlighted by Niko Partners’ market research.
According to predictions, the total gamer count in India will skyrocket by 343% from 2017 to 2027, reaching a staggering 641.2 million by 2027.
Niko’s 2023 report further reveals the anticipated gamer count to be 444 million for 2023 alone.
Moreover, about 31% of these gamers are forecasted to contribute to video game revenue, projected to surge by 21% YoY in 2023, totaling $868 million.
Loco’s Impressive Growth
From having a modest 5.3 million monthly active users in March 2022, Loco has experienced exponential growth.
The platform currently enjoys 60 million registered users, consuming 20 million monthly content hours.
Astoundingly, Loco has even outperformed market leader Twitch, capturing 65% of daily active users.
Additionally, with 600,000 creators on board, the average viewer spends around 60 minutes daily on the platform.
In its initial phase, Loco secured funding of $9 million.
This was followed by a whopping $42 million last year, with Makers Fund at the helm.
Pandita noted that this financial boost has spurred increased investor interest in India’s gaming market.
India’s Gaming Landscape: A Rollercoaster Ride
Recent developments have boded well for India’s gaming industry.
In a pivotal decision in July, the Supreme Court of India classified video games as games of skill rather than games of chance, thus exempting them from gambling laws.
Consequently, the tech-regulating progressive ministry will now supervise the gaming sector, sparing it from the taxes associated with gambling.
However, due to its Chinese affiliations, the industry had previously faced challenges, notably when political tensions between China and India led to the banning of games like PUBG Mobile.
However, Krafton, the game’s developer, revamped it, reintroducing it as Battlegrounds Mobile India.
Sea’s Free Fire also made a comeback post concerns regarding Chinese ownership.
Reflecting on these gaming giants’ return, Pandita said, “They have all complied and are back, and gamers are happy now.”
The absence of these games had previously caused Loco’s traffic to plummet by 40%.
However, with their return, they now represent nearly 80% of the Indian market.
Looking Ahead: Loco’s Future Prospects
Despite the recent successes, the journey is far from over.
While Loco has initiated monetization strategies since the comeback of major games, Pandita feels the esports scene in India is still in its infancy.
Loco had to actively invest in building an esports ecosystem, filling the calendar with events.
Given the vast potential, Loco is looking to venture beyond Indian borders.
There are hints of expansion into territories like Saudi Arabia. Elaborating on this, Pandita revealed, “Many people have started streaming on the platform.”
Pandita envisions a diverse gaming landscape in India and aims for Loco to tap into mobile-first markets, especially the Middle East and North Africa.
He believes Loco’s understanding of cultural nuances can be pivotal in these regions. He said, “Eventually, it will become a global effort.”