Here's the difference between real money gaming and esports, two of the biggest categories in online gaming in India.
Gaming was one of the fastest-emerging industries in India in 2022. It was valued at $2.6 billion and is projected to grow to $8.6 billion by 2027.
The country had over 507 million gamers in 2021, a number which is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% to 700 million by 2025.
Two of the most common online gaming terminologies are esports and real money gaming (RMG). The industry is seeing a tussle within itself.
Both RMG and esports are popular forms of online entertainment, but they are quite different, in terms of the type of gameplay and the way that players can win or lose money.
RMG, also known as online gambling, involves playing games of chance or skill to earn money. The RMG category includes casino-style games like poker, blackjack, and roulette, as well as skill-based games like fantasy sports and online rummy. In RMG, players can win or lose money, depending on their luck or skill. The outcome is determined by a random number generator or the skill of the player.
Esports, on the other hand, refers to competitive video gaming. Players compete against each other in organised matches or tournaments, using skill and strategy to outplay their opponents.
The most popular esports titles include games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In esports, players can win money through tournament prizes, sponsorships and other forms of professional gaming income.
The government recently recognised esports as a 'multisport' event. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is now the nodal agency for all online gaming-related matters. Gaming companies have also asked MeitY to establish a distinction between video games and real money games.
The terms ‘video games’ and ‘online games played for stakes’ are combined in MeitY’s most recent draught notification, which was released in the first week of January.
One of the main differences between RMG and esports is their legal status. Online gambling is illegal in most states, and the government has taken measures to block many RMG websites.
Esports, on the other hand, is encouraged by the government as well as brand advertisers. It is considered a legitimate form of online entertainment and is generally unregulated. This means that the players can participate in esports tournaments and competitions, without the fear of legal repercussions.
Another difference between RMG and esports is the target audience. RMG is typically more prevalent among older adults and people with disposable income, while esports is popular among teenagers and young adults (Gen Z).