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India’s $1 billion Gaming Industry Goes Beyond Smartphone Apps

Few would deny that smartphones are the primary catalyst for the digital gaming boom seen across India. The absurdly accessible devices open users up to a huge world of gaming apps, and each year, millions more people join the mobile revolution and connect via online games. In 2020, the Indian gaming market was already valued at just over $1 billion and is expected to nearly quintuple in value to over $4.8 billion over the next four years.

While the ascendancy to becoming such a huge gaming market has predominantly been a story of smartphone adoption, the market is diverse and has evolved quickly enough for other forms of gaming to breakthrough. Many in more developed markets see mobile gaming as almost an entry-level style of play. Now, that sentiment is starting to show, with some 68 percent of gamers in India saying that desktops are the preferred device for gaming. While nowhere near mobile dominance, other platforms are on the rise.

Mobile may always represent India’s biggest gaming sector

Source: Pexels

The simple fact is that smartphones and mostly free-to-start mobile games are just too accessible not to be the dominant force in Indian gaming. It’s not just in India, though, with mobile revenues in the global games industry eclipsing console and PC gaming combined. However, the Indian market is a different beast entirely, with there being an ever-growing count of over 500 million smartphone users as of early 2021. Further powering the device adoption is the extremely low cost of data, with 1GB costing just over $0.25, or roughly 32 times cheaper than the global average.

Market predictions for the mobile gaming industry of India see it growing at a colossal rate for the next few years. Some predictions even say that the industry will hit $5 billion by 2025. Given the increased emphasis on gaming compatibility in smartphones, it’s clear that manufacturers also see it as a huge industry to be a part of in India alone. One of the biggest brands in the country is OnePlus, and its detailed pre-launch specifications detailed for the 28 April release of the OnePlus 10R lean heavily on gaming, emphasising its HyperBoost engine.

Of course, it’s not just down to the availability and quality of the hardware: there needs to be great games to jump into. Driving the agenda since the inception of mobile gaming in India has been the shooter genre. For a long time, it was all about PUBG Mobile, but its revocation gave others the chance to impress. Garena Free Fire and Call of Duty Mobile collected strong player bases, but that all changed when PUBG’s creators, Krafton Inc., returned with Battlegrounds Mobile India. This isn’t to say that pseudo gambling apps like Coin Master and Octro don’t have strong followings, too, as do puzzlers like Candy Crush, but shooters reign supreme in app gaming.

India’s gaming scene continues to expand into new realms

Source: Unsplash

Mobile isn’t the alpha and omega of Indian gaming, and as it became more widely accepted socially, gamers started to explore different and higher-quality forms of gaming. Already, the prevalence of digital gaming is having a knock-on effect of increased interest in real-money gaming, resulting in stiff competition between the best online casinos in India with real-money games. The biggest draws at these are the live dealer games, which are played in real-time with rupees. In fact, even in this short spell of having an audience in India, live table game developers have created specific games for the market, like Teen Patti and Rummy – all of which can be played on PC or mobile.

Of course, PC gaming is a premium activity. If you want to own a desktop or laptop capable of playing games – although not casino games as they run through browsers – you likely need to invest a fair bit of money. Even with this being the case, PC gaming is often found to be the preference in surveys, and companies are trying to make PC gaming more accessible. Dell, for example, has been heavily promoting its top-tier Alienware hardware in India as well as the more entry-level G-series, which are usually around half the price of the former. Such efforts to bring the bar for entry down power the steady growth of computer gaming in India, along with many competitive games being free to play, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Much of the one-billion-dollar Indian gaming industry revolves around the absurdly accessible arena of app gaming; but that’s not to say that there isn’t a growing contingent of gamers who are now splintering off into new areas, growing into new spaces to cement India as a giant of the industry.

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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