India’s mobile gaming industry moves up a level
India’s gaming culture is growing. A variety of factors have contributed to the increased user base for mobile gaming applications, the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown being the most recent one.
Other catalysts that have led to this boost for gaming in India are higher adoption of smartphones, wider range of mobile-first games, wider internet access, and also influencers that have a huge fan base.
According to a report by Sequoia India and Boston Consulting Group, India’s gaming industry is poised to hit a $5 billion valuation by 2025. The report mentions that the user base at present is over 300 million with extensive marketing spends being diverted by companies to shape this market.
To talk about gaming trends in India, Wamika Mimani, Principal at BCG India, Jaladhi Surati, Senior Consultant atand Soham Thacker, Founder of participate in YourStory’s Daily Dispatch panel discussion.
The rise of gaming
Gamerji, an esports-operated platform, says it has seen an increase in the number of gamers. The company claims to be catering to an audience size of 2 million gamers post pandemic which is speculated to be a 20X growth.
“Ideally gaming was looked upon as something which was more of an entertainment or pass of time and now it has become a hobby and even a career path for a lot of people,” says Soham.
According to Sequoia India and BCG’s report, the rise is mainly due to mobile gaming. Wamika says that this sub-sector gaming has been growing the fastest.
She says, “Interestingly, what we see is that the big spike, of course since the peak of the lockdown, have been dips in viewership, but it has not gone to pre-COVID levels. It has sustained the momentum. It was not a flash in the pan kind of a development.”
This development in the mobile gaming industry was also watched extensively by RedSeer. Echoing the same thought as Soham, Jaladhi says that users are more willing to pay for this form of entertainment.
“A very strong push is naturally because people have started adopting this as a mode of entertainment,” he says.
The potential of monetisation from gaming
In a report by RedSeer, it is estimated that India’s gaming market will grow to a $7 billion valuation in FY2026 with in-app purchases being the fastest-growing revenue stream. The report suggests that the number of paid users will increase.
“We see that the overall average spend that a person does would be somewhere around Rs 50. For an RMG (real money gaming) segment it goes as high as Rs 250 to Rs 300 per person which is 5 times what the average non-RMG gamer would pay,” says Jaladhi.
Echoing the same thought, Wamika highlights that in the non-RMG segment, the top 20 games hold 80-90 percent of monetisation. The Indian market is known to be accepting of different games and there is a lot of room to grow really big, she adds.
India’s gaming culture, Soham points out, is a very social one as users enjoy playing with other people. The upcoming trend, he says, is moving towards more graphically- oriented games.
The boost in the sector has also attracted a lot of attention from investors. Earlier this year, Gamerji raised a seed funding round led by Lead Angels Network for an undisclosed amount.
Commenting on this investor interest, Wamika says, ”With so much attention being on gaming from the user perspective, that is what is leading to investor attention which means there is a lot of money flowing into the sector.”