The Indian gaming industry has seen a sharp rise in recent years as the youth’s access to phone has been increasing. The gaming industry has been innovating during the last few years and gave a push to casual games such as Candy Crush, Temple Run, and big games such as Fortnite, PUBG Mobile.

Mobile games in India started way back in the late 90s with ‘Snake’ on Nokia handsets. The game was very popular back then and had multiple revamps in the 2000s to catch up with modern times.

However, gaming on mobile has changed completely with the launch of the Apple App Store and Android Market (now called Google Play Store). Now, big companies and independent developers can create modern games with more impressive visuals and make them available for mobile phone owners.

Later with the growth of microtransactions and digital payments makers were able to build multiple revenue streams. As more money started coming in as income through different streams, makers started offering free games or in-game purchases for points or upgrades.

Second biggest game market

Foreign originated games ruled the Indian mobile gaming market. Things have started to change in the last few years as Indian gaming start-ups are growing in size and capabilities to compete with foreign players.

At first, when Indian start-ups took off, fantasy sports or skill-based games such as rummy became popular in the market. But being the second-largest smartphone market in the world, big games taking over the market is inevitable.

The sector has been growing even after the Indian government announced the ban of more than 200 Chinese based mobile games which were popular in the market. Games such as Ride Out Heros, Clash of Kings, Soul Hunters, PUBG Mobile, are now banned in the country.

Rulers of the Indian Market

Along with popular games such as PUBG, Indians’ childhood favorites, remade in digital versions have became very popular in the market. Ludo King, developed by Mumbai-based Gametion Technologies is currently ruling the market with 10.3 million downloads as of September 2020.

Second in the market is the strategy game Among Us, published by InnerSloth with 9.5 million downloads. As Chinese games are banned, alternative games such as Garena Free Fire known as a replacement of popular game PUBG Mobile stands third in the market with 9.4 million downloads. 

Switzerland-based game Carrom Pool stands fourth on the market with 7.6 million downloads. Fifth in the market is Israel’s Bubble Shooter with 6.5 million downloads, according to sensor tower.

World gaming market

China leads the world gaming market with many popular games being originated from the country followed by the US, Japan, South Korea, and the UK.

Coming to the size of the market, China is estimated to reach 41 billion dollars in 2020. Second, in the list, the US market size is estimated to be at 37 billion dollars in 2020. While the total gaming industry will touch 159.3 billion dollars, increased at a rate of 9.3 percent on a year-on-year basis.

India stands at the sixth position in the global mobile gaming market. The market size of the industry is estimated to be around 1.2 billion dollars in 2020. The market is projected to grow at higher rates as penetration of mobiles has been increasing.

Future of the gaming market

At present, the Indian mobile gamer base is 326 million with many millions adding swiftly due to the increasing penetration of the internet in rural areas. By 2025, the game industry is expected to cross 1.6 billion. 

Established gaming companies such as Dream 11, Junglee Games, 99Games, Gametion Technologies, MPL, Nazara Technologies, and others will help to fuel this growth.  India is home to more than 5.4k game publishers on the Play Store.

Dream 11, based out of Mumbai grew its user base from 3 lakh users in FY 15 to 8 crore used in FY 20. With the growing craze for fantasy gaming in the country, the start-up became India’s first gaming unicorn in 2019.

Similar growth has seen in many other games’ growth.  The main challenge these games facing are monetising their user base. For building a robust revenue model, gaming companies have the challenge the price-sensitive mindset of the market.