According to recent estimates, India is seen as one of the top five markets in the world for games on mobile phones. This is largely fuelled by the smartphone mania that the country is witnessing.
India’s Gaming Growth examined:
India has never been seen as a key market for PC gaming or consoles like Nintendo Wii, PlayStation or Microsoft’s X-box. This was the case as the country’s market has always been a price sensitive one and PC gaming, as well as gaming consoles, requires expensive equipment coupled with constantly upgraded in terms of hardware. In addition to this was the cost of the game and the add-ons associated with the game. All this meant that the PC gaming and console gaming market was always a niche segment in the country meant only for a small segment of the population. However, with the advent of the smartphones in the country, mobile gaming has become extremely popular and this has been reinforced by a leading mobile video advertising platform in India – POKKT.
According to the platform India is currently one of the top five markets in the world for mobile gaming with an estimated 222 million gamers spending 42 minutes a day, on an average, in 2017 playing video games on their mobile phones. The founder of POKKT, Rohit Sharma said “As much as 89% of all game revenues in India were generated by mobile games. These gamers are highly engaged; almost one-third play five days per week or more, and nearly 40% spend more than six hours per week playing mobile games,” This is impressive considering that the country was never seen as a major market for other forms of gaming till recently.
The catalyst for growth:
Unsurprisingly the growth has been catalysed by the increase in the number of smartphone users in India. This has been largely enabled by massive strides in the communication segment – most notably in the 3G and 4G enabled mobile internet services. Reliance Jio has been the player that has caused plenty of disruption in this market owing to its low cost and affordable internet services for mobile users. All other telecom operators had to soon follow suit by slashing tariff, in 2017, in a bid to retain their customers. This has resulted in a spurt in the number of users that have access to high-speed internet services.
The most popular game in India has been Ludo King, which has a whopping DAU (Daily Active Users) of 10 million apart from 70 million monthly users. The second most popular game with 5 million DAU is Subway Surfer and at number three comes Temple Run with a DAU of 2.5 million users. This has fuelled the interest of several Asian gaming companies to enter the India market including Tencent Games. With larger markets like China and the US becoming saturated, top gaming companies have turned their attention to developing markets like India and other parts of South East Asia.
The only drawback has been the spending made by Indians on these games. Worldwide statistics indicate in-app purchases are popular in gaming when it comes to developed markets. On the other hand, Indian gamers remain quite conservative about spending on mobile games and this has prompted popular games like Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans to adopt a freemium model. Rohit Sharma added “There is a huge opportunity for a freemium model which creates advertising as monetisation medium for mobile gaming. The biggest ad form is rewarded videos, where a user can be asked to watch an advert instead of spending money. We have seen that users prefer to watch these rewarded videos”.