Despite the economic slowdown, demand for gaming PCs is on the rise in the country. It is driven by the shift from mobile gaming to PC gaming, faster internet speeds at lower tariffs and affordable gaming products.
Acer India intends to ride this demand wave and grow unit sales by 35-40 per cent in 2020 (January-December) with its Predator series of PCs for professional gamers, Nitro series of PCs for everyday gamers and Aspire series of PCs for casual gamers.
The leading PC gaming notebook brand in India in 2018 and 2019, as per research firm IDC, Acer shipped 62,773 units of gaming PCs in 2018 and 82,958 units in the just concluded fiscal 2019, ended December 31.
“The growing demand for our gaming products from professional/everyday/casual gamers will grow our unit sales by 35-40 per cent in 2020. Demand is being driven by the new games coming into the market from global publishers; users transitioning from mobile gaming to PC gaming and availability of a variety of gaming products at various price points” Harish K. Kohli, President and Managing Director, Acer India Pvt Ltd, told BusinessLine.
In addition to providing laptops, desktops, monitors and accessories specifically gamers, Acer is developing this ecosystem by making available top notch gaming coaching through its recently launched Planet9 platform — where gamers and coaches can register and connect.
The company is working with universities to introduce gaming as a separate subject in the curriculum to encourage e-sports players in India, Acer also organizes Asia’s largest DOTA2 and PUBG gaming tournament – The Asia Pacific Predator League, where the India prize pool is ₹15 lakh and the APAC prize is half a million dollars.
The India market for gaming PCs doubled from 1.83 lakh units in 2018 to 3.6 lakh in 2019 and is likely to grow at 40-50 per cent to 5.5– 5.7 lakh units in 2020, said Kohli, who considers ASUS as Acer’s closest competition in gaming PCs followed by Dell. According to a KPMG report, gaming in India is expected to become a $1 billion industry by 2021.
Acer first entered the gaming market to cater to professional gamers with the Predator series at price points starting from ₹90,000 to ₹3.5 lakh. Then it turned its focus on everyday gamers – another fast developing user base, with the launch of its Nitro series at price points starting from ₹55,000 to ₹1 lakh, which could be used for gaming plus other usage. To cater to the growing band of casual gamers, Acer came up with some products under its existing Aspire brand, priced from ₹40,000-₹65,000 which had better graphics cards, higher performance processors, and flashy backlit keyboards . More recently, the company launched the Thronos Gaming Cave at ₹12 lakh along with other high-end gaming accessories like Predator gaming monitors.
Pointing out that around 500 million casual and 1,000 professional or pro gamers are spearheading the rise of gaming in India, Kohli said “In just a little over two years since Acer introduced gaming PCs in India during the Diwali season of 2017, it has been the number one company in gaming PCs with respect to unit shipments of 62,773 in 2018 garnering 34.2 per cent market share to gain the top spot, as per IDC. In 2019, as per IDC, we continued to lead as the number one PC gaming notebook brand in India with 26.4 per cent market share with total unit shipments of 82,958 gaming PCs.”