India's gaming sector is a multimillion industry. In fact, India ranked number one in the world when it comes to online gaming. To date, over 560 million internet users are making India the second country with the largest internet consumer. It is projected that investors in India can expect a 10-year growth with nearly a billion valuation by 2024. There is a massive growth in mobile game downloads in 2020 with 7.3 billion installs and a total of 17% market share in installs volume. These data were taken from SensorTower. India's population mostly consists of age 25 years old, and more than half of that population are gamers below 25 years old. As of March 2020, the gaming userbase has exceeded 365 million per report of KPMG media and entertainment.

The popularity of Mobile Games

Mobile gaming is dominating the gaming industry. About 85% is mobile gamers, while 11% sues personal computers, and the remaining 4% is tablet users. Mobile gaming continues to be a big thing in the Indian market and the world, especially now that the world is in a pandemic. Added to the boom of mobile gaming is affordable smartphones and high-speed internet connectivity.

The effect of Covid in mobile gaming boom

The pandemic that hit the world by storm has a significant impact on people's health and economy and the way people define entertainment. Today, having fun means staying in the comfort of your home. When at home, one of the sources of entertainment is television. However, this is a thing of the past already as mobile gaming dominated the entertainment sector. The shift in media and entertainment is massive.

Investors are affirmative that mobile gaming will continue to rise for the coming years. That is why major gaming platforms like Apple App and Google Play has noticed an increase in mobile gaming engagement during the lockdown. The data collected by BARC & Nielsen revealed that Indians spend 151 minutes gaming before the lockdown and 218 minutes during the lockdown. There is a total of over 400 gaming companies in India, such as Indian casinos.

Reasons for the rise in gaming in India

The rise in gaming in India has something to do with virtual entertainment among family and friends. The gaming industry influencers also play a major role. Digital consumption is mainstream in India, leading to the increased the need for more varied content. Mobile games function as a virtual social space that fulfils the need for entertainment during these challenging times. Before the pandemic, the eSports landscape, as per the report of Inc42, revealed that India’s eSports accounts for 4% of Indian gamers, forming over 9% of the entire gaming revenue pre-pandemic. It is foreseen to grow even more by up to 36% on a yearly basis for the years to come. To date, there is over 17 million eSports audience in India, which is a massive growth when compared to 2017, with only 6 million eSports enthusiasts for competitive gaming tournaments.

NewZoo made a prediction, and they see that IP holders wanting franchise to new mediums will prefer mobile gaming to other business ventures because of the following reasons:
  • Low development cost
  • Quick planning and implementation
  • Short timeframe
  • How advertising adapts to the new normal?
Advertising is not a problem in this time and age, even in the midst of a pandemic. Advertisers target people who are already gamers, and they connect to them through authentic brand messaging. The demographic and behavioural profiles of gaming cohorts are the same. According to the survey made by NewZoo, about 80% of Indians take foods and drinks while playing. Such information is crucial to the FMCG brand, especially in creating an effective marketing strategy. Through these channels, various brands can use it to build trust and engagement with prospective clients.

Over the last three years, India's gaming industry has grown dramatically to nearly 60%. What's even great is that it is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon, not even in this current pandemic situation. Therefore, it is not impossible to assume that it might overtake the Indian box office revenues in the near future. The majority of gaming revenue comes from advertising. Only a minute portion is from user in-app purchases. If you notice, the business model for standard India's mobile gaming sector is more free-to-play, which is an enticing entry for would-be gamers.

As the gaming industry continues to grow in India, it is not surprising that the government will eventually play an active role in regulating the gaming market. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for creating content that aims to promote indigenous Indian culture. Gaming regulators have been doing everything to monitor data-privacy policies, especially how games are stored and how data are transmitted to Indian users.

Conclusion

The pandemic that brutally affected the entire world shows no stopping soon. It's obvious that many sectors suffer, especially health and business, which adds up to the burden of the entire nation. It is ironic to note that despite the world's crisis right now, the gaming sector continues to thrive. It has been the economy-saver. Through it, the nation continues to survive, especially in the socio-economic situation. The mobile gaming sector, in particular, is the one that experienced the massive boom. The option to play for free adds to the reason for the growth of India's gaming sector. In fact, it has drawn away from the attention of television. Many people are in online entertainment, delivering all sorts of entertainment, from movies, streaming, and online gaming. The accessibility and affordability of smartphone have played a major role in the growth of India's gaming sector. It is not showing any signs of slowing soon, which is a good thing, both from investors' perspective and the economy as a whole. It is fortunate to note that there is a way for the economy to survive and prosper even in this challenging time. Thanks to the growth of India's gaming industry.

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