Mobile gaming the driving force of Indian online gaming

Online gaming in India is an INR62 billion robust market with an estimated 300 million gamers in FY19. In this story, I write about the profile of the mobile gamer and how mobile games are driving the share(89%) of revenues in online gaming

The digital revolution has been the primary contributor to the remarkable growth of the gaming segment - one of the outperformers in the Music and Entertainment industry in FY19. According to the KPMG 2019 report the segment grew at the rate of 41.6% thereby reaching a size of INR62 billion with robust growth in both ARPUs(average revenue per user) and the number of gamers in India(estimated at 300million by FY19.)

Online gaming(Real Money Games + Mobile/casual games + e-Sports) is estimated to witness a compounded growth rate of 32%(INR250 billion in FY24) over a five year period. 

Profile of the gamer

In the year 2018, Indians spent 6.92 hours of power week on gaming, the global average has been 7.11 hours per week. The younger audience (26-45) years are driving the growth (25%) followed by the older audiences. It is projected that nearly one-third of the gaming population is aged over 35 years in India.

Traditionally the gaming sector has been dominated by the male but not anymore. Female gamers are now equally inclined in this mode of entertainment. Globally 60% of females like puzzle mobile games compared to 63% of men are inclined towards action and adventure mobile app games. Females(79%) are more likely to spend money on mobile games through in-app purchases.

The Kantar IMRB report has explored the profile of gamers in depth. Social media, audio, and video streaming are the most important online activities performed by male gamers. Female gamers are busy on social media, online shopping and listening to music.

By and large female gamers love puzzle/quiz and word games but the 20-34 age group has shown a preference towards racing and adventure games.

Mobile gaming driving online gaming

The Kantar IMRB report accounted there are 250 million-plus mobile gamers in India, who daily spent 60 minutes playing mobile games. 

India is already one of the top five markets for mobile gaming in terms of users. Mobile gaming is driving the category with a dominance of 80-90% market share. PC and console gaming is projected to have a muted growth while appealing to a niche audience. 

With the growing share of mobile gaming and user interest, large console and PC games are changing their strategy. Many gaming publishers have now launched mobile optimised versions of console and PC games. For example, the in-demand multiplayer battleground game PUBG was initially a PC game but its growth exploded once it was extended to the mobile. In the month of May 2019, it was reported that PUBG Mobile surpassed 100 million monthly active users. Fortnite, Asphalt Legends, etc. have been widely successful on mobile platforms.

Earlier last week, Call of Duty Mobile has had the best launch of any mobile game ever after generating more than 100 million downloads worldwide in its first week, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates.

State of revenues

The online gaming industry has seen tremendous growth with the surge in digital usage. In the last 4 years, the revenues have doubled, reaching INR43.8 billion in FY18. The sector is expected to reach INR118.8 billion and all thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, cheap data, and high-speed internet.

Mobile games(89%) are driving the share of revenues in online gaming.

Indians prefer free-to-play games, this has given rise to freemium models. Definitely, monetisation is slow, hence the casual gaming segment largely depends on the ad-supported model but it is slowly changing. About two in every five gamers prefer to pay at any stage of mobile gaming. More than 50% of gamers are willing to spend INR50/- for buying games. The older segment is known to be one of the spenders in games and is likely to spend above INR150/-

Online gaming has now discovered avenues for growth and monetization are fantasy sports and real money gaming platforms. Online real money games(RMG) are driven by rummy, poker, daily fantasy sports, and quiz games. Termed also as skill-based games have seen a massive growth of online especially traditional card games like Teen Patti(Teen Patti developed by Octro was the top game of 2018 in India by consumer spend) and Rummy. Online real money gaming is approximately estimated to be INR24 billion.

For the last two decades fantasy sports have seen massive growth. It is being predicted that fantasy sports alone are going to have 100 million users in India by 2019. The advent of sports leagues like kabaddi, badminton, football, etc. powered by digital infrastructure and corporatisation has fueled the progress of this segment.

State of fantasy sports and real money gaming platforms needs a different story. Coming very soon.