The Multi-Billion Dollar Online Gaming Industry In India

With Behemoths like Tencent, Paytm, Nazara and Youzu investing millions of dollars in the market, India’s online gaming industry is growing fast. India is currently among the world’s top five countries in mobile gaming, with a market worth of over $890 million. The demand for digital in the country is also surging, with over 250 game development companies operating locally. That’s a significant increase considering that there were only 25 companies in 2010.

In 2020, Indians can easily find games online, with sites offering promotions similar to the BetMGM NJ Bonus code to encourage players to play often providing new customers with a quality bonus when they sign up. That has resulted in an explosive growth that’s challenging traditional entertainment avenues like recorded music and Box office.

In 2019, Indian recorded music grossed $19 billion, while the box office movies commanded $43 billion. That’s merely a small percentage compared to the online gaming industry, which reported $152 billion. The key driver for this growth is the proliferation of affordable smartphones in urban and rural areas, with over 400 million smartphone users in the country today.

Big Players in India’s Online Gaming Market

With a 41% projected annual growth rate, several big players in the market are looking to get a piece of India’s online gaming market. That has resulted in increased investment mainly from China, with major investors, including Alibaba-backed Paytm and Hong Kong’s Tencent. The AGTech-backed gaming platform (Tencent) has stakes in popular games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and League of Legends.

Though most Indian games have minimal average revenue per user, the market has caught the attention of many investors. Even better, many startups are starting to raise funds to launch niche games in the Indian online gaming market. As a result, Industry experts estimate that the market will have received over $350 million in investment from 2014 to 2020.

Esports Enthusiasm

Gamification has introduced a new trend that some firms are capitalizing on. Mobile games publisher Nazara technologies have witnessed growth mirroring an increase in the enthusiasm for competitive online gaming (eSports). Nazara acquired 55% of Nodwin Gaming in 2018, and they expect to invest $20 million in esports development by 2023. 

According to Nazara’s CEO Manish Agarwal, India’s esports market is surging, with an estimated fanbase of over 5 million players. Manish further added that his company plans to develop the ecosystem for competitive online and offline gaming, creating local leagues and boosting the number of spectators.

In 2017, World Cyber Arena partnered with esports startup eGamers Arena to host Indian qualifiers for a Championship hosted in China. Even better, American gaming technology company, Nvidia has hosted several symposiums in India to connect gamers over the last few years. Media companies are also starting to take note of the industry, with thousands of fans turning out to watch gamers compete live, as millions watch through the internet. That means that es[ports might become the next big thing in TV sports channels.

Bottom Line

India’s online gaming market has seen impressive volumes, with over 100 million gamers enjoying a wide variety of games through the web. The proliferation of low-cost smartphones is the key driver of these market volumes, with the industry expected to be worth over $1.1 billion by 2021.

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