The rise in gaming in India can be directly correlated to access to affordable digital tools and data packs on smartphones.
Last year has been a year of surprises in the entertainment industry. As I put my phone down from an intense game of Clash of Clans, I come out of the fantastical universe and see it making a massive impact on my real world, the world of business. The 5-inch screen now pretty much dictates all parts of our lives from ordering groceries, to work even. Why should entertainment be any different? It should be no surprise to anyone that India stands as one of the top five global gaming markets.1 We are a nation fond of the virtual world that includes people of all ages, especially when the danger of social gatherings still looms large over us. In 2020, India recorded 7.3 billion downloads of mobile games, securing about 17 percent of the global market.2 India’s gaming sector stands at US$ 1.2 billion today only to increase almost 2-fold in two years, Gen Z contributing the most to it. 365 million Indians are mobile gamers and there is no sign of the count going down anytime soon.3
Why do we like it so much?
The rise in gaming in India can be directly correlated to access to affordable digital tools and data packs on smartphones. People are using 14.5 GB of data every month,4 which is a direct result of better connectivity and speed. Three out of four Indian gamers play at least twice a day.5 As a mobile first country, we rely a lot on the decent availability of the internet, covering most of the geography. Not only that, but the extreme portability also adds to the convenience of playing anytime, anywhere. Phones are more affordable now than ever, new technology begetting cyclical purchases every two years, not to mention with better graphics almost comparable to consoles and optimized for gameplay mechanics. Such advanced compatibility also works perfectly with individuals earning more, almost 1.6 percent more across the country6 with increased disposable income, and hyper personal consumption patterns.
The confluence of all these factors creates the perfect environment for developers as well as startups to target mobile gamers and create more complex and innovative mobile entertainment assets. While simpler mobile games including those which have evolved from the traditional board games attract a regular loyalty from the older generation, India is also where there are no hard stop laws concerning online gaming as yet. This also encourages players to put their money where their mouth is with reliable payment platforms helping them play their favourite games better at a nominal premium. The party gets better when everyday players find a way to monetise their skill on various platforms.
The gaming world pays attention
Most free-for-all games pull their revenue from advertising, and these games don’t necessarily require intensity to play. Games like Ludo, Candy Crush and others are merely fun to play without a lot of competition among players and individuals can pay more attention to mid game ads before jumping to the next level. Games designed by studios challenge players to test their talent and tend to be more engaging with storylines and a core functionality to the game. Streamers often play the multiplayer versions and garner a sizable following thanks to that. Medium skill games such as cricket also attract a particular faction of players onto their phones, especially during the sports seasons.
Indian gaming arena
Although the genres are diverse, action and adventure games cinch the top spot with male audiences while female gamers tend to gravitate towards mentally stimulating games such as chess and quizzes. According to an Ernst & Young report 2021, nearly 50 percent of players globally will be female by 2025.7 We can now boast of 400 homegrown gaming companies8, which adds to the potential of the gaming industry in India, not only as spectators of the market but active participants. Careers in the gaming sector are now a viable option thanks to the phenomenon that shows no sign of diminishing and for good reason. It is indeed the golden age of Digital India.
Source: Business World