While India is rapidly establishing itself as a well-known global leader in a number of industries, such as energy, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals, comparatively little attention has been paid to India’s burgeoning gaming industry.
Gaming revenue in India is expected to reach almost $1.7 billion in 2020, making India one of the most significant consumer markets for games in the world. There are an estimated 300 million gamers across the country, a number that is only surpassed by neighboring China.
In addition to being a major consumer market for video games of all stripes, India is also shaping up to be a major producer of gaming content for global audiences. Let’s take a closer look at the main drivers behind India’s rise as a gaming superpower in 2020.
1. Mobile Gaming
When it comes to the global $79 billion mobile gaming market, India is a clear market leader. One of the top five countries for mobile gaming in the world in terms of market share, there are an estimated 628 million Indians who regularly play mobile games according to Forbes.
Such figures are less surprising when you consider the fact that India has one of the highest numbers of mobile users in the world, at around 482 million. Among the most popular mobile games in India right now are mobile eSports giants such as PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire, the latter of which is currently the top-grossing game of all time on the Indian Google Play store.
Meanwhile, homegrown mobile gaming companies are teaming up with global juggernauts to greatly expand their reach in the Indian marketplace. The Dehli-based game developer WinZO, for example, recently teamed up with Tencent to provide PUBG Mobile tournaments across the country in 10 different regional languages.
2. Online Gaming
Owing to its young population and very high levels of internet penetration, online gaming in India is one of the biggest markets in the world, taking many forms. One example is the world of competitive eSports, where Indian teams have been winning the top prizes at major tournaments such as Dota 2 and the Asian Games.
Meanwhile, India has made a splash by introducing its own, highly-successful eSports events, such as ESL One Mumbai and the Dehli Dreamhack. Another major component of India’s online gaming sector is casino games, where Indian players can play slots, roulette, blackjack, and more for real money.
The success of online casinos in India is evidenced by the fact that major global operators, such as RoyalPanda, offer dozens of some of the most popular real-money roulette games to Indian players. By some measures, the Indian online gambling market is already estimated to be worth 62 billion rupees.
3. Console Gaming
The size of the traditional console gaming market in India may not be as impressive as the mobile market just yet, but it is growing fast. Admittedly, console gaming remains prohibitively expensive for most Indian consumers, and PC penetration is one of the lowest in the region. This helps to explain why mobile gaming makes up around 85% of the overall gaming market in India.
However, this is not the full story. As recently explained in The Telegraph, India represents the ‘next frontier’ for console gaming, owing to the huge levels of enthusiasm for the medium among India’s young adult population.
A substantial chunk of viewers of console gaming on streaming platforms such as Twitch comes from India, which has developers such as Microsoft and Sony convinced that, with the rollout of cloud gaming which does not require a console, the Indian gaming market will be opened up like never before.
In addition, there are a number of fast-growing Indian console developers that are striving to make a splash overseas, with the award-winning indie studio Tentworks Interactive being just one well-known example. You will be hearing a lot more from India’s console gaming industry in the coming years.
Anyone who is invested in the video gaming industry simply cannot afford to ignore India. In the coming years, this country of 1.4 billion people will become one of the most influential gaming markets on Earth.