The Growth of Online Gaming in India

A report by KPMG showed that India has a record for the highest game downloads in 2020. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a myriad of changes in your habits, health, and relationship with family, food, and other things. As people were stuck at home without enough time at hand, they started amusing themselves with gaming.

It is estimated that the Indian gaming market will triple in the next 4 years and will touch $3.9 billion by 2025. At present, the nation is home to over 430 million mobile gamers. There are more than 400 gaming startups now, speeding up the growth of this sector.

Nevertheless, in India, the differentiation between a game of skill and a game of chance has legal implications for a gaming business. A game of chance involves a higher GST rate in comparison to a game of skill. Online games follow a rake-fee model.

Under this model, a gaming platform is going to charge a rake fee to facilitate freemium models or games where the game is free for playing but the in-built features might require the users to buy them.

Here are a few trends that will show that online gaming is booming in the country.

1. A Strong Past

You might not be aware of it but the online gaming revolution had begun long back. The gaming market is experiencing significant growth in the year that led up to the pandemic. There has been a rise in the engagement level, as well as the number of gamers.

At the end of FY20, the number of financial gamers stood at 250 million but the total gamers in India by the end of FY20. It is now the second-largest base of online gamers across the world.

2. Gaming Has Turned Out to Be Mainstream

Online gaming has now become more popular in India as the increasing number of players reaches the tipping point. Other than the one-tier cities and metros, penetration beyond 2 tiers cities has also begun. Moreover, these days there are more women gamers. The social stigma surrounding online gaming is just receding.

InMobi’s report shows that women contribute to 43% of the gaming audience in the country.

3. New Trends Created by Popular Games

Games, such as Ludo King and PUBG Mobile have helped in changing the gaming sector in India. PUBG Mobile which is now available in India as Battleground Mobile India has been the pioneer of multiplayer mobile gaming in India. Back in time, it was taken to be an intensive activity. Multiplayer mobile gaming has boosted the streaming and the eSports ecosystem in the country.

On the other hand, Ludo King has attracted some new types of players. It attracted players above 45 years. Gamers of this age are largely rare in India and used to turn to social media and mainstream entertainment alternatives. But this has changed.

4. eSports as a Sub-Segment

With time, eSports is emerging to become a single sub-segment in India. The country has up to 15 million viewers in FY20 in India. But it has been projected that the number is going to increase to more than 130 million viewers by the end of FY25.

eSports has officially been recognized by the Indian Olympic Association. So, it will see increased interest from sponsorship and brands. Publishers will look forward to promoting games. This will lead to the entry of new players into the eSport gaming market.

5. Several Game Developers

Gamers have seen an increase in the number of developers, especially in the field of the mobile gaming sector in India. This is mainly due to the popularity of this segment. The total game titles across different genres also increased in the last few years. So, a wide range of games is available to the players.

Moreover, some of the most popular games, such as Ludo King, Teen Patti, and others offer the option to play them in the local language. Hence, it is trying to reach out to the local audience.

6. The Smartphone Revolution

As per the estimation of Cisco and KPMG, there were more than 500 million smartphone users in India in 2019. It is expected that the number is going to increase to more than 800 million by the end of 2024. This can be the reason behind the growth of online gaming in India as gaming is now more accessible.

7. Gaming Promises an Incredible Future

It is being estimated that online gaming in India stands at ₹136 billion in FY21. And, this number is expected to grow and reach ₹290 billion by the end of FY25. The casual online gaming segment is the most important one and it stands at ₹60 billion in FY21. So, it accounts for 40% of the total online game revenues.

When it comes to gamers, there were more than 400 million gamers in FY21 that accounts for 97% of the total gaming enthusiasts in India.

8. Growth of Digital Games

Digital sophistication among Indians is only increasing with greater awareness of online entertainment, payment modes, etc. This has changed people’s outlook towards online games.

AI is being used extensively for game development, interactive experience, player engagement, and personalization of the journey of each gamer with games. Moreover, Cloud Gaming, even if it is at its nascent stage can transform your gaming experience.

Bottom Line

As India keeps growing and moving forward in the IT sector, it is expected that online gaming in India will follow the trend. People are already interested in gaming. Also, there are a good number of platforms. The right kind of development is going to take the online gaming industry to a whole new level. So, online gaming will only improve with time.