India’s mobile gaming industry set to treble in value by 2025: Report
The country is already the world’s largest mobile gaming market in terms of app downloads, according to Sensor Tower data, contributing up to 12% of the world’s total.
India’s mobile gaming market will be worth $6-7 billion in 2025 from $1.8 billion at present, according to the report titled ‘Building up the e-gaming ecosystem of India and the influence of smartphones’ by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), RedSeer and OnePlus. While casual gaming (Angry Birds, Ludo King) is the most popular genre in India, hardcore games like Battlegrounds Mobile India and Free Fire generate four times as much revenue and user engagement.
In a survey conducted on 500 hardcore gamers, about 70% of the respondents said they play 2-5 games in parallel and spend about Rs 230 a month on gaming.
This segment also attracts a large number of spectators, driven by the reach of smartphones that can run high-end games. This alone is a $30-million market at present.
The sector has also been attracting investments, and the industry is expected to generate 60,000 to 80,000 new jobs by 2025.
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However, it needs a combination of policy and capability building to drive sustainable growth. The regulatory uncertainty around defining games of skill, gambling and data protection and taxing gaming companies also needs to be resolved.
Given the higher engagement levels, hardcore gamers present far more monetisation opportunities—from spending on game play to investing in high-end smartphones. This is expected to be the fastest growing segment in India, projected to grow by four times in the next five years. The advent of 5G is further expected to boost this space, both for gamers and spectators.
Device manufacturers have led the growth of hardcore gaming in India.
High-end gaming phones have specialised coding systems and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are focusing on improving the performance of their phones or launching gaming-specific phones.