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Other than video calling, it was mobile gaming that took India by storm during the lockdowns and social distancing times. As parents got busy with remote work and struggled to maintain the work-life balance, the popularity of mobile games surged among the youth, especially millennials and Gen Z.
With the Covid-hit year entering its last leg, Indians were spending around 7 hours in a week playing games on their mobiles and the duration increased among the majority (53 percent) since the lockdown that began early this year. Interestingly, 15 percent of the gamers switched to paid mobile gaming apps during the lockdown while freemium gaming apps increased by 8 percent.
According to the CyberMedia Research (CMR) report that came out in November, mobile gaming increased among three in every five serious gamers, with four hours being the average duration of increase since the lockdown began in the country.
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Indian men mostly played action/adventure (71 percent) and first-person shooter (63 percent) games on their smartphones. The ‘Call of Duty Mobile’ and the ‘Garena Free Fire’ were the popular first-person shooter games. Among women, the most popular type of the game was puzzles (65 percent), followed by multiplayer gamers (56 percent).
Here are the top 5 mobile games that ruled the screens this year.
1. Among Us
Among Us from gaming company, InnerSloth was the most downloaded mobile game worldwide for September 2020 with 83.8 million installs, which was 40 times more than the title had in September 2019. In India, kids went crazy for it.
Among Us is a multiplayer game about teamwork and betrayal. You and your crewmates can play this game online or over a local Wi-Fi and attempt to keep your spaceship together. It is important that each player must cooperate with one another in order to return back to civilization.
2. Ludo King
Ludo King, which was launched in 2016, became one of the top five most installed mobile games in April. The growth during the initial phase of the ongoing lockdown helped Ludo King reach the number-one ranking in the top charts of free games on Google Play for some days.
A free-to-play app developed by Indian studio Gammation Technologies Pvt Ltd based in Mumbai, it brought the classic board game on the digital platform. In the pandemic, it was downloaded millions of times in the country.
It smashed all mobile gaming records in India, becoming the top gaming app across platforms. It is a cross-platform app that works on Android, iOS, desktop, and even the Windows mobile platform. Ludo King surpassed top games like Candy Crush Saga, PUBG, Clash of Clans, Subway Surfers, Temple Run, and others in monthly active users in India.
3. PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile has emerged as the highest-grossing mobile game of 2020. According to Sensor Tower, the Tencent-owned game raked in a revenue of close to $2.6 billion from both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The figure represents an increase of 64 percent from last year.
According to the data by Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, both PUBG Mobile and its rebranded version in China called Game For Peace managed to accumulate the highest revenue from Play Store and App Store.
The immensely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile app was among the 118 Chinese apps that the Indian government banned in September over national security concerns. In November, PUBG Corporation said it is making a comeback to the Indian market with the creation of an Indian subsidiary and a new game.
4. Pokemon Go
For Pokemon Go, 2020 has been its best year by far where it accumulated a revenue increase of 31.5 percent. The sudden increase in player spending was because of the various implementations in the game allowing for playing during the pandemic-induced lockdown. Pokemon GO has been around for a few years now, but it continues to impress with its longevity and massive popularity.
5. Garena Free Fire
Garena Free Fire grew to become one of the top five grossing entries in the burgeoning genre since its launch in late 2017. Garena Free Fire (also known as Free Fire Battlegrounds or Free Fire) is a battle royale game, developed by 111 Dots Studio and published by Garena for Android and iOS.
The game received the award for the “Best Popular Vote Game” by the Google Play Store in 2019. As of May 2020, Free Fire has set a record with over 80 million daily active users globally. As of November 2019, Free Fire has grossed over $1 billion worldwide. (IANS)
With the festive season on in full swing, iconic brand Johnnie Walker, is all set to re-energize the country's after-hour culture. Through its one-of-a-kind campaign #RevibeTheNight, the brand brings together beloved music artists like Divine, Ritviz, Lisa Mishra, Taba Chake along with popular indie bands like When Chai Met Toast and Mad Boy Mink, among others to perform live across iconic community spaces in India.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. The brand's goal is drive social regeneration in India and bring back the vibe of socializing through local music artists and reignite the trade, driving social culture by executing the live events with Covid measures in place and a limited capacity audience capacity.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. | Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Unsplash
Prior to the world going into lockdown, the after-hour culture in India bloomed at celebrated community hubs, that eventually became a safe-haven for individuals, a place where they found their sense of self-expression and belonging, that fuelled progress. This community was driven through the culture of live music and enthralling performances that created their very own vibe, a vibe that built extraordinary, forever-lasting relationships. Through #ReVibeTheNight, one can reconnect with this community bringing music curated by artists who have a history of captivating crowds with their one-of-a-kind live experiences. Catch the gigs and live performances for artists in these venues/cities for the live performances.
(Artiicle originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: johnnie walker, social, #revibethenight, performances, community, artists, culture, festivity, begin
By Nikhila Natarajan
In a continuing study on the effects of machine learning (ML) on public conversation, Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content. "In six out of seven countries - all but Germany - tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group," Twitter blogged.
"Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organisations, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets." Since 2016, Twitter users are able to choose between viewing algorithmically ordered tweets first in their home timeline or viewing the most recent tweets in reverse chronological order.
"An algorithmic home timeline displays a stream of tweets from accounts we have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content Twitter thinks we might be interested in based on accounts we interact with frequently, tweets we engage with, and more. "As a result, what we see on our timeline is a function of how we interact with Twitter's algorithmic system, as well as how the system is designed."
The new research is based on tweets of elected officials of House of Commons members in Canada, the French National Assembly, the German Bundestag, House of Representatives in Japan, Congress of Deputies of Spain, House of Commons in the UK, and official and personal accounts of House of Representatives and Senate members in the US, as well as news outlets, from April 1 to August 15, 2020.
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
The study was conducted by Ferenc Huszar (Twitter, University of Cambridge), Sofia Ira Ktena (now at DeepMind Technologies), Conor O'Brien (Twitter), Luca Belli (Twitter), Andrew Schlaikjer (Twitter), and Moritz Hardt (UC Berkeley).
The questions probed were:
How much algorithmic amplification does political content from elected officials receive in Twitter's algorithmically ranked Home timeline versus in the reverse chronological timeline? Does this amplification vary across political parties or within a political party?
Are some types of political groups algorithmically amplified more than others? Are these trends consistent across countries?
Are some news outlets amplified more by algorithms than others? Does news media algorithmic amplification favour one side of the political spectrum more than the other?
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: algorithmically, timeline, algorithmic, tweets, political, survey, twitter, study, germany, skew
Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".
Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.
"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.
"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: cowin, covid, india, people, Rohit bansal, Sonu kumar, vaccine, snapdeal, registrations