Gaming In India

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How Big Is Gaming In India?

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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Gaming is a booming industry in India and the outlook that the society has about it is evolving for the better. The number of people frowning upon video games has significantly reduced and youngsters are even considering taking up video gaming, esports, and content creation as a serious career path. Additionally, India's video streaming market is booming, with a wide range of local and international platforms competing for viewership. Naturally, over the years, India has turned into an enticing target for game developers and publishers due to its growing population of gamers. According to a report, India was crowned as the fastest-growing video games market in Asia in 2023. 

India has 568 million gamers, of which 25% are paying users, according to a Lumikai report. This number is expected to increase even further over the next few years, making India a key player in the industry.


Video Games Growth In India

It is stated that the number of gamers in India across all platforms including mobiles, PCs, and consoles is set to reach 641.2 Million by 2027 and this will be a 343% increase from 2017. Thanks to the rise of online gaming platforms, affordable mobile devices, and internet services, the Indian gaming market is expected to grow from $2.8 Billion USD in 2022 to $5 Billion in 2025 at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 28-30%.

Apart from this, there has been a clear interest shown by international game companies and publishers in India too. Big names such as Riot Games, Krafton, and Garena have all showcased their interest in capitalizing on India’s growing number of gamers.

MS Dhoni gaming on his tablet

BCCI

Gaming has become part of popular culture with many celebrities including the likes of former Indian Cricket team captain MS Dhoni and popular Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan admitting to playing games in their leisure time. It is no longer considered “uncool” or “childish” to play video games within the country. As a result, there is a cultural shift in the perception of gaming, making it one of the most popular forms of entertainment within the country, perhaps only next to the film and cricket industries.


Mobile Gaming Is India’s Backbone

In 2021, the World Economic Forum (WEF) noted that mobile devices are the primary driver of India's gaming industry. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, India reportedly rose to the number one spot in mobile game downloads worldwide during the first nine months of 2020 with 7.3 billion installs. Even before the pandemic, a lot of gamers played PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile, one of the most popular mobile games in India.

Following PUBG’s ban, its replacement, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) by Krafton, became a huge hit. Though it had its fair share of struggles and legal battles, BGMI remains one of India’s all-time favorite mobile games.

Other popular games in the country, that primarily cater to the casual audience, include the likes of Coin Master, MONOPOLY GO!, Wordscapes and more. Multiple native Indian gaming studios are also actively developing mobile games that explore rich narratives set within India, highlighting the country’s burgeoning influence in the gaming industry. Notable among these upcoming titles are Underworld Gang Wars and Indus.


With India being a center of attraction for gaming investment and expansion, there has also been a lot of discussion about Indian game studios. Game studios like Nodding Heads Games, SuperGaming, and GameEon Studios have tapped into the rich culture of India, focusing on folklore and mythology, and presenting these new unexplored themes to the world through video games. The Indian gaming industry going from being a very negligible sector to becoming one of the biggest in the global market in the last two decades shows how big it is.


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Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

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