The Indian online gaming Industry is growing at an exponential rate upon year and is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2021. The industry has experienced a drastic growth at the beginning of 2020 due to the pandemic. When other businesses shut down, the gaming industry got lots of new users. The number of games doubled after the lockdown and is expected to rise in 2021.
Online gaming has gained a strong foothold within the India entertainment industry. With a projected user base of more than 628 million gamers, this gives a whole new boost to the Indian economy. This industry contains game developers, designers, investors, marketers and gamers of all ages working together to come up with the latest cutting games, concepts and offers for players. Gaming has become one of India most exciting industries with more investment from both companies and consumers every year.
The online gaming industry is still quite an unexplored area in India but the companies that have taken the leap are flourishing and are now expected to grow by 41% in 2021. All this interest and potential makes India one of the top gaming markets amongst emerging global economies. Statistics show that the Indian gaming markets is the fastest growing one in the world.
A brief about the Indian Gaming Industry
According to a report ‘Gaming- India Story’, the online gaming Industry is said to be growing at the rate of CAGR of 22%. The report also claimed that the Indian Gaming Industry is expected to grow 41% annually due to the growth of digital infrastructure rise in quality and engaging gaming content. The gaming Industry in India is said to be valued at $3,750, by 2021. So far, the industry has attracted $350 million in investments from venture capitalists from 2014 to 2020.
Pankaj Karna, the managing director of Maple Capital Advisors said that, “With growing internet penetration, compelling economics, usage statistics and increasing ecosystem of entrepreneurs and developers focusing on this space we expect good growth in investments which are likely to at least double in this space in the next 1 – 2 years.” India has become the second largest market worldwide for app worldwide for app downloads.
The three key segments of online gaming are Real Money Games (RMG), Mobile centric or casual games and Esports. There has been a huge increase in the number of smartphone users which is why many gaming developers are looking on to capitalize on. At present, there are over 400 gaming startups and more than 500 million smartphone users in India, making mobile gaming lead by 85% share of the total online gaming sector in India.
Gaming Industry during the Covid Pandemic
Due to Covid 19 and substantial lockdown, visits to online gaming websites or apps rose by 24%. Moreover, engagement as measured by the amount of time spent on gaming sites or apps, also increased by 21% during the same time period. Platform such as Games2Win, WinZo Games, Hitwicket, Gamerji and Rummy recorded a tremendous increase in daily user’s base as well as the time spent playing those games. While Indian gaming companies like Dream11 and MPL are known worldwide.
In 2020 however, Esports have shown strong user growth and profitability, and so has the real money games, which besides lockdown also increased after the ban of popular multiplayer games like PUBG. Winzo games reported three times more user engagement and 30% higher traffic in online mobile gaming. Similarly Paytm First games also reported 200% increase, with 75,000 new users only during the pandemic.
Three in every five serious gamers are now playing for around four hours more than before the lockdown. Mobile gaming in particular as seen a steady rise during the lockdown as there were many people at their homes. During this time, around 15% of the Indian gamers shifted from playing freemium games to paid games. Through a survey, most gamers also agreed that mobile gaming helped them overcome isolation.
The reasons for the growth of Online Gaming Industry
Accessibility to smartphones
The smartphones market plays a crucial role in the gaming industry. The increased competition requires offering more reasonable prices. As a result, anyone can afford a smartphone with great features. Along with the availability of faster internet connection, this leads to the perfect conditions for online gaming growth. The market will grow even more when people get access to a mobile device.
Investments by Chinese Tech firms
Chinese tech companies invested in the Indian gaming markets. According to estimates they managed to invest over $8 billion in the Tech sector. Companies such as Alibaba and Tescent gained stakes in some in some of the top Indian gaming companies. The government has recently put restrictions on Chinese investments during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
This however, did not stop the investors from investing in Indian gaming companies. Paytm First Games and Daraz has launched a successful gaming platform in Bangladesh. Tencent experienced a fall due to the lack of sporting events in the lockdown. But, they chose to invest in Dream 11, as they saw potential in the platform.
More people equals to more players
India has the second highest population in the world, with over 1.3 billion inhabitants as of the beginning of 2020. This means that there is a massive untapped base for the gaming industry in India, which has already benefitted the Indian economy to a great extent. The main reason for some games to get popular are when some people talk to each other and invite their family members to group games, influence their peer groups and spread the word about their games. This leaves a lot of scope for the gaming industry to make a foray into.
Skill gaming options
Youngsters in India love to play skill games. When it comes to the online availability of different games has taken this sector to a whole new level. There are numerous sites available so that Indians can choose their favorite games. The market needs to expand market the options and offers many more choices for different tastes. The game providers need to introduce more free games for passionate players.
The increase of number of players, results in a convenient gaming culture. The revenue generated will help the gaming industry grow and will help the local gaming communities and the ecosystems that include developers as well as consumers. In the last decade, the number of Indian game development companies has increased from 25 to 250, with new gaming startups appearing every month. It's more appealing for the public to spend their money on businesses and companies that will develop products that are tailored to their own local tastes.