#KnowYourMarket: Mobile Gaming in India

#KnowYourMarket: Mobile Gaming in India

We’re continuing our series called #KnowYourMarket, where we will be exploring the various countries and their mobile gaming community, their significant growth and unique cultural distinctions so game developers get at least a basic understanding about the mobile gaming market in a diverse space like Asia. In knowing, game developers and publishers will be more equipped and attuned to making calculated decisions when interacting with the various demographics that will discover their games.

Last time we covered the mobile gaming market in Indonesia, and today, we tackle India!

Gaming has taken the world by storm, and each year produces newer and more innovative ways in which gaming enthusiasts and casual gamers alike can enjoy their time. Responses to the gaming industry have been both positive as well as negative, with certain countries going as far as to ban certain games within their territory. Regardless, there is no doubt that gaming has redefined entertainment in the past decade. In India as well, gaming has turned into a highly favored pastime especially among the younger population.

India is the largest country in South Asia and is home to a whopping 1.38 billion people, a sixth of the world’s total population. It is a linguistically and religiously diverse country with a correspondingly rich culture. The median age of the Indian population is 28.7 years, which signifies a relatively younger population.

The Indian Gaming Market

India has a gaming market worth $1.8 billion, and a large portion of this amount is mobile-first games. Further, India is currently the world’s largest mobile gaming market in terms of app downloads. With a population that is rapidly becoming digitally literate, more and more Indians are turning to gaming for entertainment as well as socialization in a post pandemic world. Games that take real money payments from users in order to give them an edge in gameplay (known as Real Money Gaming, or RMG) are also increasing in popularity. The industry is showing a compound annual growth rate of a staggering 39% in the country, which is also attracting investors who anticipate valuable returns.

In a country where the median age is currently quite low, it comes as no surprise that the average age of the Indian gamer is 24. A study reported that over 90% of Indian gaming happens on smartphones, and 80% of these gamers play every single day. Indians have shown a preference for action-adventure and puzzle games, irrespective of age and gender.

Growth of Gaming in India

Mobile gaming has seen a steady rise in India ever since the introduction of smartphones into the market. In early years, popular game development companies such as King and Playrix had a player base among young children and casual gamers who shifted gameplay from Facebook to the smartphone, while games such as Call of Duty Mobile and Clash of Clans developed an audience among more serious players in the form of esports. However, the steep rise in mobile gaming was seen during the pandemic, when the population was forced to find ways to socialize from a distance and entertain itself indoors. Moreover, digital translations of traditional games such as chess, Ludo and card games like Rummy and Teen Patti (Trans: Three Cards) saw a sudden increase in app downloads, and they quickly became favorites among families looking to spend quality time together.

The reasons for the rise in mobile gaming in India are numerous, most of them centered around the accessibility of technology. Starting with the pandemic, many people turned to technology to bridge the gaps created by social distancing, and the average Indian’s ability to access adequate technology and a strong internet connection made this easier. Through app markets such as Google Play and Apple Store, Indians have access to some of the best games in the world; prior to its ban in the country, Players Unknown BattleGrounds (known informally as PUBG Mobile) had over 50 million regular users in India alone. Further, popular influencers have been successfully marketing games which has also contributed to increase in app downloads.

It is evident that gaming in India, and particularly mobile gaming, is an industry to watch out for. Experts have predicted that the Indian mobile gaming market could grow to a value of $5 billion by 2025. That alone is enough to make one wonder as to how different the gaming industry will be by then.

And that concludes our second part of our #KnowYourMarket series! Tune in to the next entry as we cover the country of The Philippines!

Are you an Indian mobile game developer? Tell us about your experience developing your game in your market! Use #KnowYourMarketSlab in social media or tag slab in your post! We’d love to know your story working in the largest gaming market in South Asia.

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Mars Zarate

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