Indian gaming market to reach $6-7B by 2025: IAMAI

The pandemic has accelerated the organic growth of digital games as mobile app downloads grew by 50 percent and user engagement went up by 20 percent.
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The Indian gaming market is poised to reach $6-7 billion in value by 2025 from $1.8 billion presently, according to a report prepared by IAMAI in collaboration with OnePlus and RedSeer.

Titled ‘Building up the e-gaming ecosystem of India and the influence of smartphones’, the report also highlighted that 40 percent of the hardcore gamers pay for their games with an average spend of Rs 230 per month.

Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile app downloads grew by 50 percent and user engagement went up by 20 percent, the study said.

The increased gaming time has spurred the growth of hardcore gamers in India, even as casual games remain the most popular genre in India.

The report was launched today by Shri Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT), Department of the Telangana Government; Shri Saurabh Gaur, Joint Secretary Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in the presence of Navnit Nakra, Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, and Head of India Sales, OnePlus India, and Rajen Vagadia, Vice President and President, Qualcomm, at a roundtable discussion around e-gaming hosted by IAMAI moderated by Kanishka Mohan, Associate Partner, RedSeer.

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“We are at the cusp of a gaming revolution and the gaming ecosystem is working towards user-friendly smartphones and leveraging 5G technologies,” said Shri Jayesh Ranjan, speaking at the roundtable.

He also talked about the growth potential of the gaming sector and the significance of user-friendly devices for the same.

“The gaming sector has underlined the significance of affordable smartphones with capable hardware. I am happy that parallelly, work is going on to make phones more user-friendly for gaming by leveraging 5G technology, developments in AI/ML, and hardware manufacturing,” he said.

Shri Saurabh Gaur, added, “The [global] gaming industry can be matched with electronics, and consoles could be manufactured in India.” He also voiced support for creating games for the Indian audience, based on Indian culture.

India is currently home to over 400 million online gamers and the number of gamers is estimated to grow to 650 million by 2025.

Currently, mobile gaming dominates the Indian gaming sector, contributing more than 90 percent to the $1.8 billion gaming market and is expected to further grow to generate $6-7 billion value by 2025, the report added.

Smartphones have become more affordable and pack strong hardware that is equipped to run games which may require medium to high specifications. This has opened accessibility to more immersive gaming for the masses, with smartphone OEMs also increasingly focusing on incorporating dedicated gaming features on their newest devices and launching gaming-specific phones.

Speaking at the session, Navnit Nakra, Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of India Sales, OnePlus India, said, “Over the past few years, the e-gaming industry in India has grown tremendously, driven by the rising avenues for digitisation promoted by the flagship initiative of the government, the Digital India program and improved accessibility centred around innovation and affordability by OEMs.

"At OnePlus, our community has always been at the heart of everything we do and therefore, we have been leading the charge in introducing the most advanced features and have built partnerships with industry leaders to provide a seamless gaming experience on OnePlus smartphones. We are happy to have partnered with IAMAI and Redseer as the report has served as a unique avenue for the industry to gain actionable insights and come together to drive meaningful discourse and innovative ideas".

Rajen Vagadia, Vice President and President, Qualcomm, shared, “In the last 12 years, we had to update our GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) over 700 times, that’s the demand coming in from the consumers.”

He also underlined that certain efforts are being undertaken to nurture esports and ensure that it is seen as a field that can be taken up professionally as well.