Have you heard of ‘Smite’? Smite is a free-to-play, third-person multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Hi-Rez Studios for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. In the game, players choose a God, Goddess or other powerful figure and take part in team-based combat, using their abilities and tactics against other player-controlled Gods and non-player-controlled minions. With every game, players have to choose a God or other figure to play. Currently, players can choose between a large variety of characters from different pantheons including Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Japanese, Norse, Slavic and Yoruba.
Among Hindu Gods and figures, ‘Smite’ offers its players choices between Ganesha, Agni, Kali, Shri Ram, Ravana, Bakasura, Kumbhakarna and Vamana. Hi-Rez Studios have confirmed ‘Shiva the Destroyer’ as one of the next Gods to be joining Smite. The character will be added to the roster as part of the Season 9 update, dubbed ‘Dharmic Era,’ and is set to launch on January 25, 2022.
The trailer of Bhagwaan Shiva’s entry into the game looks promising. According to the trailer, when the Gods are at a disadvantageous position, Lord Shiva gets evoked by Ganesha. It looks like Shiva will serve the supreme ‘Warrior’ role in the game. The cinematic video introducing him showcases Lord Shiva in all his glory, and unlike other Indian Gods that have a different aesthetic touch, Bhagwaan Shiva looks the most accurately depicted.
Hi-Rez has assured fans that they have been working with consultants to ensure that the Hindu God is depicted both accurately and respectfully in the game. The Smite Season Pass would cost you $40 or around Rs 2,800.
Smite is one of the most popular RPGs in the gaming category. Similarly, a famous game, ‘Uncharted’ also released a game back in 2017 based on the lost tooth of Bhagwaan Ganesh. The game was very well received by critiques.
India Should be the Next Gaming Superpower of the World
China’s gaming sector is collapsing. The fall of China’s gaming sector can be a big opportunity for India to break into the global gaming scene and dominate it. India’s $1.8-billion gaming market, while small in global terms, is growing rapidly on the back of mobile-first games. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group and Sequoia on India’s mobile gaming sector, more than 300 million people play mobile games in India, and the gaming market as a whole grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38% in 2019-2020 and 37% the previous fiscal.
What this means is that the gaming industry in India is growing faster than social media itself. The size of the mobile gaming market is estimated at $1.5 billion, or about 86% of the total gaming market. India’s gaming startups raised $549 billion in the first quarter of 2021, more than the $412 billion they raised in all of 2020. The gaming sector in India is growing faster than most media sub-sectors — including cinema and home entertainment, audio and more.
Read more: The future of gaming is in India
According to the same report, the gaming industry in India has seen a growth of almost 40% in 2019-20, more than that of OTT, television and social media platforms. 86% of this market consists of mobile phone users.
Nothing is stopping India from becoming a gaming superpower. What India needs is the will and the right incentives to break into the gaming scene and scale new heights. India created ‘Razi’, which gathered worldwide appreciation. Ever since, however, we have failed to capture the gaming market worldwide. India has a rich culture and huge potential to create world-class video games, based on Indian themes. Gaming can become a major soft power flex for India.
We have created world-class engineers, doctors and scientists already. Now, it is time for India to produce some key artists in the fields of VFX, animation and the overall gaming sector. If international game developers can bring Indian culture to animated life by using the gaming space, what is stopping Indian developers from doing the same?