Online gaming is not a new phenomenon in India. It began in the 2000s when console and PC gaming was introduced to the community. The initial growth of gaming in the country was facilitated by international developers who mostly concentrated on social games.
Since then, international gaming developers and publishers have continued to be influential in the industry. For example, Tencent publishes big name titles like PUBG and NetEnt, the most known company in the industry, when it comes to casino games, develops software for games like blackjack and roulette. However, Indian startups like JetSynthesys and Nazara are now also gaining prominence in what is a profitable market. There is no doubt that gaming has become a growth industry in India but why has this happened?
Growth in the use of smartphones
Mobile versions of games like PUBG and League of Legends are hugely popular in India. Much of this is due to the growth in the number of people who use smartphones. Currently, there are more than 300 million people in the country who have smartphones. This figure is set to increase to between 650 million and 700 million by 2023.
Young population in the country
India also has a young population which has embraced online gaming, especially using a mobile device. This generation has a deep interest in digital sports and online entertainment. This means that younger people are helping to grow the gaming industry in the country.
To illustrate this, it’s interesting to know that around 55% of people who play casually are below the age of 24, as are around 66% of heavy gamers.
The value of the gaming industry in India
It’s clear that the age of the population and an increase in the number of smartphones have both contributed to the growth of the gaming industry in India. This growth has led to a current industry value of around 62 billion rupees. This value is expected to increase to 250 billion rupees by 2024. This increasing value has the potential to lead to the creation of many more jobs in the industry.
The original development of the gaming industry in India revolved around console gaming. This area of the gaming market has continued to increase but it has now been upstaged by mobile gaming.
This is because the mobile gaming industry in India is growing the most rapidly in all areas of gaming. It’s estimated that the market will be worth around 35 billion rupees by 2022; more than half of the entire market value for the gaming industry. It remains to be seen what effect the increase in GST on smartphones will have on the gaming market in India. It seems unlikely that it will deter young gamers from investing in the activity that they love. Only time will tell, but it seems likely that the online gaming industry in India will continue to experience significant growth in the years to come.