Reliance Jio has brought about a major digital transformation in India, including in the gaming and esports scene. The Indian telecommunication company launched in 2007 as Infotel Broadband Services Limited (IBSL). Reliance Industries bought a 95% stake in the company in 2010 and renamed it Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd in 2013; popularly known as either Reliance Jio or Jio Platforms, or just “Jio”. Reliance Jio opened its LTE and 4G services to the public in 2016; and is currently the leading telecom operator in the Indian market by both subscriber base and revenue. As of November 2020, the company 382 million subscribers, which represents a 35.34% market share.
India is one of the fastest growing mobile gaming and esports markets in the world; with the greatest number of mobile game downloads; globally in the first 9 months of 2020. It is also home to the second most smartphone and internet users in the world, with only China having more.
Reliance Industries Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani recently sat down with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during Microsoft’s Future Decoded Event in Mumbai. They exchanged ideas about their partnership on various fronts. One of the interesting topics of discussion was gaming and as part of the conversation; Ambani indicated that Jio is working on bringing xCloud to India. While Ambani didn’t share many details; his comments suggest that the telecom operator is partnering with Microsoft for the launch of Project xCloud game streaming service. How or when it will materialise is still an uncertainty.
Nadella jokingly remarked during the fireside chat that in the next decade, Ambani may become a gamer. In his reply, Ambani shared that though gaming doesn’t really exist in India, there is huge potential for it.
Ambani stated, “Gaming doesn’t really exist in India and with everything we’re doing with xCloud and our broadband connectivity, I think there is huge potential for some of us who don’t know what gaming is.”
While the chat between the two does seem to encourage growth of gaming in the country, there is no clarity on what Jio’s contribution will be, in terms of bringing Project xCloud to India