India's Booming Gaming Industry
India's nascent gaming industry has had a remarkable rise in recent years, quickly propelling it into one of the biggest global markets for gaming. India's massive youth population is fuelling this expansion, along with higher disposable incomes, new gaming genres, and an increase in tablet and smartphone users making gaming easily accessible.
Along with gamers, the game development community in India has also been on a steady rise. Today, the Indian game developer ecosystem has plenty of opportunities to innovate and create exciting content with engaging social and cultural contexts appealing to the Indian consumer, thanks to a rising customer base and established e-commerce solutions. This growth is aided by an abundance of creative talent in the country, with Indians possessing a diverse skillset across IT, design, development, and testing.
Market Size & Current Scenario
India's gaming market size is estimated to be around US$ 2.6 billion in FY22, and it is predicted to reach US$ 8.6 billion by FY27.
- Revenue: The bulk of the current gaming market revenue (57%) comes from real money gaming (RMG); however, in-app purchases are anticipated to drive future growth at a 34% CAGR between FY22 and FY27. In FY22, midcore games (a mix between casual and hardcore games) like Battlegrounds Mobile India and Free Fire were the fastest growing category, coming in at 32%, with total revenues worth US$ 550 million. Revenue is steadily increasing due to a better supply of games and a greater propensity to pay. The average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) increased by 11% to reach US$ 20 per year in FY22, with 2 million new paying users being added each month. A survey showed that 65% of paying gamers claim to have engaged in in-app purchases at least once.
- Number of gamers: The number of gamers in India stood at 507 million in FY22, growing at a CAGR of 12% from 450 million in FY21. Out of the 507 million, the amount of paying gamers stands at 120 million, growing at a CAGR of 25%.
Source: Lumikai State of India Gaming Report
- Mobile Game Downloads: The Indian gaming user base contributed to 15 billion downloads in FY22, making India the largest consumer of mobile games globally, with a 17% share. It is also the only major global gaming market that has shown consistent growth in mobile game downloads over the last 3 years.
Source: Lumikai State of India Gaming Report
- Time Spent: In FY22, on average, an Indian gamer spent 8.5 hours per week on mobile games. Top midcore games receive about twice as much time as top casual games, with Free Fire leading the field with an average of 109 minutes per user per day.
- Monthly Active Users (MUAs): In FY22, the cumulative MAUs for all mobile games in India stood at 2 billion users, while the cumulative MUAs for the top 10 mobile games in India stood at 358 million users.
- India-Based Games: Games made by Indian developers and those featuring Indian culture, landscapes, and characters are also growing in popularity. The Google Play store has 17,211 games published by Indian distributors. A couple of popular Indian mobile game publishers are:
- Gametion - They are the biggest Indian game publisher, with a total of nine games that have been downloaded more than 739 million times.
- Moonton - They come in 2nd place with five mobile games that have been downloaded almost 500 million times.
- Rise of Female Gamers: There is a growing community of female gamers who are joining the action as the variety of genres expands, and the diversity of the stories improves. As per a Think with Google report, around 18% of Indian gamers are female. The growth of female gamers, especially in mobile gaming, is due to the fact that 43% of smartphone users in India are female.
Female participation is increasing not only in the gaming space, but also in the game development space. Women are now leading the charge in creating women-themed designs, visuals, and lead characters, shattering gender norms, and establishing a leading presence in the sector.
- Investment: Gaming companies in India have raised funding worth US$ 2.8 billion from domestic and overseas investors in the last five years. Funding has shown a growth of 380% over 2019 and 23% over 2020.
- Digital Gaming Research Initiative: The government has started a digital gaming research initiative, and the SERB-INAE Conclave was organised recently to support the Indian digital gaming research space and industry. During the Conclave, sessions on developing indigenous technology platforms and apps, designing digital games with an emphasis on Indian culture and values, and researching and developing learning, educational, and leisure online gaming platforms were all organised.
The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology has identified three main directions for its Digital Gaming Research Initiative - R&D in learning and leisure gaming platforms, immersive game prototypes with an emphasis on Indian culture and values, and a collaborative technical design process, which was made by SERB Game Labs.
- AVGC Promotion Task Force: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has established the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) Promotion Task Force. The government recognizes that the Indian AVGC industry has the ability to carry the "Make in India" and "Brand India" banners. By 2025, India has the potential to hold 5% (or US$ 40 billion) of the global market thanks to yearly growth rates between 25-30% and the ability to create more than 160,000 new jobs in these sectors.
In recent times, India has witnessed a genuine uptick in e-sports, console gaming, mobile gaming, and game development. This growth was significantly aided by the pandemic, which allowed people to explore all kinds of gaming choices within the confines of their homes. There has also been a notable change in people's attitude toward game development. While the gaming industry earlier was not considered a career option for most people, plenty of new Indian talent is currently entering the industry and seeing game development as a legitimate career option.
Future growth in the Indian gaming industry will be brought about as a result of rapid digitalisation and change, rising internet usage, and increasing smartphone penetration. There will be creation of new features, and players will be able to enjoy more lifelike, vibrant, and captivating experiences. Gaming experiences will continue advancing and eventually help the Indian gaming industry achieve remarkable heights.
Note: Conversion Rate Used: 1 US$ = Rs. 80.98