When we talk about the gaming space, you’d probably normally hear about China, Japan, the United States, South Korea, or Germany because these are all the countries currently at the forefront of gaming technology and consequently topping the charts of the gaming industry. Primarily, this is because they are also the top largest market consumers of online games, but running closely behind them are countries from the Southeast Asian region with India leading the pack.
In recent years, we have seen formidable growth in gaming revenues in the Indian market predominantly due to an impressive increase in mobile phone users. In truth, this shouldn’t come as a surprise since India has already positioned itself on the map in the early years prior to the global explosion of mobile gaming into the mainstream media. If you go over the data from GamingScan, you’ll see that as early as 2018, India’s gaming ecosystem was already gaining a strong foothold in the industry. On that account, the years that came after only bolstered its footing and amplified its influence coupled with more affordable options in smartphones and the data revolution happening today. In effect, online gaming has become more prominent and accessible than ever to the wider population.
Going over the figures from Statista, an online statistics portal for global data, India is currently experiencing an annual growth rate of 9.3% with the mobile games market as its key driver towards growth. Today, India ranks as the second country with the most number of smartphone users accounting for a 25.3% penetration rate and the mobile games market valued at US$1.165 million. It is indeed an exciting time for the local gaming space but to maximize its full potential, we think it’s important to look at these elements that are going to shape the future of gaming for India.
5G network is the next generation of wireless technology that is anticipated to exceptionally improve the speed, bandwidth, processing power, and mobility of your smartphone. But in essence, what would it mean for mobile gaming? For mobile gaming, this means your 5G-enabled mobile device will now be able to support 8K resolution streaming, 360-degree video and faster data transfer that can transport colossal amounts of data in just 1 millisecond. Excited yet? In India, 5G is expected to begin its rollout in the first half of 2020!
Cloud gaming literally means playing a game remotely on a cloud. Technically, it entails a remote server that runs the game and streams it to your preferred user device. To put it simply, imagine having a gaming version of Netflix where you can play your favorite games on a similar platform that you can access across multiple devices with just an Internet connection. Like how Netflix works, a cloud gaming service is like a video game subscription that would require you to pay a monthly subscription fee but different platforms will have different content, compatibility as well as pricing. Today, big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have invested in creating their own cloud gaming services namely Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, and Microsoft’s xCloud.
Fantasy Sports Games
Fantasy games are increasingly popular today in India with Fantasy Cricket as the most played segment. A fantasy sports game if you haven’t tried it yet is a type of online game where users can form virtual teams to play professional sports. One of the reasons why it has a growing popularity among gamers and non-gamers is because it involves the betting of real actual money. As it gains more traction among local patrons, you’re likely to see more fantasy sports games venturing into other types of sports.
Local cultural games or Desi games are driving the domestic gaming community towards further growth with customized content that leverages traditional social behavior, habits, and culture. It’s a growing niche market that caters to a population of users who enjoy traditional Indian games. At present, more Indian game developers have started creating games revolving around local themes and using multiple local languages some of which are Ludo King, Teen Patti, and Rummy.
The vibrant gaming community in India will definitely continue to sustain a phenomenal increase in growth and revenue as long as mobile gaming receives relentless support in terms of embracing new technologies and meeting local demands.