India has given the world many great gifts. It created the binary system that is used in all computer systems, it invented fiber optics that help to send gigabytes of data under oceans, and it helped the world to relax with yoga.
The subcontinent is also responsible for the creation of several of the world’s most popular games. The two best-known examples of this are chess and snakes and ladders. The former was first played in the 7th century CE when it was known as chaturaṅga, while the latter was devised to teach morals and be wary of snakes.
With such a strong history of creating and playing popular games, it should come as no surprise that India is embracing modern video and mobile games.
Combine that with the fact that India has the world’s second-largest population with 1.38 billion people and the 7th largest economy with nominal GDP of $2.72 trillion, and you can begin to see the potential that the Indian gaming market has.
A Unique Market
We can’t necessarily compare India and other countries though, at least not directly. This is because certain types of gaming are more popular on the subcontinent than elsewhere, while other forms haven’t taken hold as much.
The biggest difference between the Indian market and places like North America, Europe, and South East Asia is that Indians prefer to play titles on different devices. While in most other parts of the world, consoles and computers are in high demand among gamers, in India, mobile devices are the favorite option.
Like in Europe, online casino games are popular in India. This is thanks to the variety of options that the iGaming industry offers to its customers. For games like slots, online casinos have developed new and exclusive titles that combine different themes and can teleport the user to different places.Not only that, but also different versions of the most classic titles have been created, giving them personality and enriching the user experience on the platform.
Late to the Party But Making Up For Lost Time
Despite inventing some of the world’s India was slower than some other parts of the world to show an interest in digital gaming. Console gaming industry is almost non-existent in the country as Indians have shown very little interest in the technology.
In the first three quarters of 2020, Sony sold less than 40,000 PlayStation 4 consoles in a country that accounts for nearly one-sixth of the world’s population. During that same period, the company sold 4.8 million to the rest of the world.
In 2007, Indians spent 4 billion INR on gaming. By 2017, that number had increased to 32 billion and by the end of 2021, is expected to surpass 100 billion. From this, we can see that interest in gaming is growing rapidly in the country.
Much of this growth has been helped by the increase in prevalence of smartphones in the country and the trend that has seen video game publishers release more free-to-play titles. Evidence of this can be seen from the fact that all 10 of the most popular games in India are free to download and play but offer in-app purchases.
Thanks to the Internet
Another factor behind the growth of gaming in India is the improved access to the internet. In fact, the country’s rate of internet penetration has tracked upwards at a rate that is similar to the amount spent on games.
In 2007, only 4% of the country had access to the World Wide Web. But by 2017, it had reached 34%. In 2020, that figure had jumped to 50%, helping more people to play games over the internet. This increase is thanks, in part, to initiatives to provide poor households with free internet access.
More of the Same
The number of people gaming and the amount spent on it is set to rise even further in the coming years. A recent report from KPMG stated that the market in India is set to grow 113% by 2025, with annual revenues reaching 290 billion INR in that time.
The company also suggested that the number of people partaking in the hobby could grow by 52% from 433 million to 657 million. Given that that only accounts for half of the population, it seems pretty safe to say that there will be even more room for growth in the years that follow.