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India Gaming Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

India Gaming Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • September 2021
  • 130 pages
  • ID: 6155712
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The Indian gaming market was estimated to be valued at USD 1.02 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 4.88 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 20.83% over the forecast period 2021 – 2026. With one of the world’s largest youth populations, India is expected to become one of the world’s leading market destinations in the gaming industry. The growth in the country is driven by the growing younger population, higher disposable incomes, the introduction of new gaming genres, and the rapidly increasing number of smartphone and tablet users.

Key Highlights
This has resulted in the country ranking fifth among the world’s top mobile gaming markets, with over 220 million gamers spending an average of 42 minutes per day on mobile games. By 2020, NASSCOM data estimated that the Indian mobile gaming market would reach 628 million users.
Game developers are also continuously striving to enhance the gamer’s experience and launching new games for diverse console/platforms, such as PlayStation, Xbox, and Windows PC, which are provided to the gamers through these devices.
Cloud gaming is an emerging technology across the gaming industry, which allows the user to stream high-end games across hand-held devices, such as laptops, tablets, and mobiles, with fast network connectivity, thereby eliminating the requirement for a regular hardware upgrade or a gaming console/PC/laptop. Such key factors are expected to have a positive impact on the market’s growth.
A key shift in India that the gaming industry is witnessing is that now there is a lot more focus on game development. In the past 2-3 years, more than 200 game development companies have come up, creating their own intellectual properties (IPs) in games. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in lockdowns, has accelerated online gaming in India. Time spent on games increased dramatically as virtual zones became avenues to socialize, connect, and compete.
According to the Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) report, the average time spent by gaming users per week in India increased by 44% during the pandemic. The time increased to 3 Hours 38 minutes per week during the COVID-19 pandemic from 2 hours 31 minutes pre-pandemic.
Moreover, The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing enterprises to move away from desktops to laptops. As per a senior manager of Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies, India, this shift in adopting desktop computing to notebook PC is more apparent in specific verticals and more service-oriented and public sector organizations.

Key Market Trends

Rapid Increase in Smartphone is expected to drive the market

The smartphone penetration in India has increased in the last couple of years due to the rising internet penetration, initiatives taken by the government, and smartphone stakeholders. According to the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) 2020 report, India’s total number of smartphone users is expected to rise to almost 830 million by 2022, fueled chiefly by open operating systems such as Android and low data rates.
This exponential increase could be attributed to growth in rural and vernacular users and smartphone’s falling ASP (average selling price). Open operating systems such as Android are the critical contributor to reduced smartphone prices and increased functionality, including vernacular applications.
In November 2020, India-based mobile manufacturer Lava Mobiles is now reportedly making handsets for other brands. As per the company, it will be in agreement with Motorola and HMD Global for making Moto and Nokia handsets at its manufacturing facilities. Since Motorola and Nokia smartphones come with the ’Made in India’ written on their back, they resort to cost-effective methods for ensuring a smooth market reach.
In August 2020, Samsung had planned to move part of its smartphone manufacturing to India from Vietnam and several other countries. The South Korean smartphone giant plans to produce devices worth more than USD 40 billion in the country.
The smartphone industry has become a major driver for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ’Make In India’ initiative. By taking such initiatives, the government now wants to develop India as an export hub. In October 2020, the government of India had approved incentives under a federal plan to leverage domestic smartphone production to 16 companies, which includes top Apple suppliers Wistron, Foxconn, and Pegatron.

Android Games to Dominate Market Share

Data costs in the country have fallen exponentially recently, making it one of the cheapest markets offering data at low prices. This has positively impacted the number of smartphone users in the country. According to a survey conducted by Newzoo in July 2020, the total monthly users for leading games in google play in India was 657 million.
Such favoring conditions have positively impacted the number of mobile gamers in the country. For instance, a study by CMR, which included inputs from 1,124 mobile gamers in the age group of 16 to 35 years, found that an average person has at least seven games on their phone, out of which four are played regularly.
According to a report published in August 2021 by 42matters.com, There are more than 5,283 Indian publishers on Google Play out of all 166,039 game publishers. Some of the most prominent Indian publishers are Gammation Technologies Pvt Ltd., Words Mobile, Moonton, Moonfrog, Games2win.com. Overall, 3% of all game publishers on Google Play are from India. This suggests the increasing dominance of Indian players in the android gaming industry.
Among the mobile gaming segment, Android commands a significant share of the market, owing to the dominant share of the user base in the country. According to various studies, the smartphone userbase in the country is expected to cross the 750 million mark by the end of 2021, increasing at an exponential rate, with major brands, such as Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, and Samsung, commanding the dominant share of the market. Another major trend is that these vendors offer smartphones with Android OS, thus adding to the popularity of the OS.
With the recent ban of PUBG, Call of Duty has seen an increase in the number of users. Also, the country has seen a growth in the number of developers offering similar games. For instance, in December 2020, FAU-G, which is the Indian rival of PUBG Mobile, was up for pre-registration on Play Store.

Competitive Landscape

The Indian Gaming market is moderately fragmented, with limited players in the market. The companies compete to maintain their market share and dominance by launching and promoting games continuously.

Jan 2021 -Sony officially announced the PlayStation 5 or PS5 India launch date. All the gaming enthusiasts in the country will be able to experience this new gaming console from February 2, 2021. The pre-orders for the console will begin on January 12. With this next-generation gaming console, Sony is primarily aiming to take on the likes of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
Jan 2021 - OnePlus launched a web-based game, primarily based on the Netflix film ‘AK vs. AK: Stops at Nothing.’ The game has been created for both smartphones as well as the web, and the users will be able to immerse themselves in this 2D gaming experience across all their smartphone devices and computer screens. The retro game primarily brings the experience of the Netflix film ‘AK vs. AK’ and was created in partnership with Fnatic and AFK Game.

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