The Indian mobile gaming market has dominated online entertainment for a few years. As the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping industries, it is poised to only grow in significance.
Why India’s Online Gaming Growth Is Exceeding Predictions
There used to be a time when India’s youthful population seemed to spell bright prospects for both fintech and online entertainment service providers. Global players (and local startups alike) were hailing numbers and trends highlighted in professional consulting reports as late as 2017 – KPMG and Google predicted that online gaming revenues would more than triple to reach 1 billion by 2021.
The Indian gaming industry continued attracting top capital and global partners, so much so that it is now at a point where those stats are a reality with a few months to spare; and the sector is about to take its “game” to a new level. At the crossroads of dynamic user-friendly software, accessible mobile hardware and dirt cheap data, India is the perfect proof of how and why new technology is changing the way we live and play.
While the segment had already seen an almost constant annual growth of nearly 30% for the past few years, the few months that followed lockdown saw some online gaming platforms record as much as 200% increase in traffic and user base for popular games such as Rummy, Teen Patti and Fantasy Cricket.
Many working Indians have had to adapt their lives and set up their home routines differently. In such a context, almost inevitably, the social and socio-economic role of games and gamification has finally received mainstream recognition. And the Indian online gaming industry is welcoming the chance.
Covid-19 and India’s New Gaming Habits
Statistical data emphasises one trend sure enough – Indians have started enjoying more online entertainment such as online gambling and social gaming. The key factor is probably the country’s demographics – young, tech savvy consumers, in large numbers. Initiated to online gaming by family and peers at an early age, they see small-time gambling as an acceptable (yet frequently unregulated) occupation. And they engage in it increasingly for “stress relief and social interaction”.
And when a pandemic forces such digitally receptive consumers with a strong need to socialize to stay home, it is no wonder that from the first weeks of lockdown (in February and March 2020), online gaming websites and apps rose on average by 24% in terms of traffic and user count. Session duration increased as well, by a similar margin.
At a time when many offline services cease to function (or even exist), global online gaming operators lead the way by investing to optimise their sites and mobile platforms, record video tutorials, prepare segmented promotions. As India is moving towards a value-defined consumption, they also pay particular attention to localisation in content and service offering – “made for India”, frequently enough “made in India” as well.
The All-Time Indian Gaming Favourites
Experienced gaming platforms and their partners offer useful gaming advice and practical tips on winning at some of India’s favourite traditional games available online.
Players search for good old-fashioned tricks and the G2G 3 patti sequence list to help them quickly immerse themselves in the classical tri-card flush. The good news is that those games can accommodate up to a dozen players, as always, but now online and easier than before.
Desi classics such as Andar Bahar, Rummy and Teen Patti remain a top pick for players of any generation.
Gamification Will Support Sector Growth
Game-related thinking has claimed its rightful recognition as a mechanic which comes with significant added value when facing social and economic problems. Gamification, as an extended function to a number of business functions and social sectors, has even been encouraged by the World Health Organisation in times of crises such as the current one.
A couple of years later on, without being able to foresee Covid-19 and its effects on the sector, KPMG had revised its predictions and numbers. Given the growth rate and usage trends, the online gaming market is expected to increase from EUR 0.5 billion (as of 2018) to almost EUR 1.35 billion (INR 119 billion) in 2023. And although puzzles, action and adventure games lead the sector slightly in share and session times, Real Money Games (RMG), casual games and eSports are expected to bring a substantial portion of the sector’s expanding revenues.