The online gaming industry across India is expected to be valued at Rs 150 billion in CY2024, compared to Rs 120 billion in 2022, according to the latest data by market research firm, Statista. In the last two and a half years, the online gaming industry has grown by leaps and bounds in India, with now it being considered a serious profession. Case in point, India recorded about 390 million online gamers in 2021, thereby clocking an eight percent growth from the previous year. Interestingly, about 95 million gamers reportedly paid to play last year. The total number of gamers is likely to reach over 450 million by 2023, stated the report.
With the total number of smartphone users in India expected to reach 931.3 million by end of CY22, the mobile gaming market across India is projected to account for about 50.5% of the gaming industry. The sector had a market share of around 49% in 2016. Meanwhile, the PC gaming market is also been growing thanks to the rise of AAA games and other advanced games. The value of the PC gaming market is projected to reach about $106 million in CY22, marking a significant increase from about $84 million in CY16.
In the last two and half years, all kinds of genres of online games have seen an uptick. From real money to casual gaming, fantasy gaming, Esports – all genres seem to have found their share of users as well as revenue. In the third edition of the India Gaming Summit – we try to find out the next steps ahead for the gaming industry in India – this includes creating a viable business model, taking gaming to more people including women and making it more accessible and affordable. Additionally, it will focus on helping the gaming developer community build many more news games for a broader audience.
The Summit saw names such as Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India; Vinay Thakur, MD, National Informatics Centre, Government of India; Abhishek Ravi, chief information officer, Dream Sports; Arvind Neelakantan, tech evangelist, Epic Games; Kishore Kichili, senior vice president, Games and country head, Zynga India; Mohit Sureka, founder and CEO, Spiel Studios, among others.
“If you look at NFT economy, it has lost a lot of value in the last six months,” Roby John, co-founder, SuperGaming and Tegro, said.
“With the coming of Web3.0, we are able to own things on the Internet,” Farheen Ahmad, founder and CEO, Interality, added.
“Innovation in the business process, product or marketing is key to bring down cost of customer acquisition (CAC) in the gaming industry,” Saurabh Gupta, co-founder, Tamasha, said.
“Gaming in India is seeing a lot of interest from investors in the last two years. The ability to create liquidity is much higher in the sector,” Salone Sehgal, founding general partner, Lumikai Fund, said at the India Gaming Summit, 2022.
“With gaming, brands can be sure of the attention of the consumers,” Laxmi Khanolkar, co-founder and CEO, Apar Games, stated.
“There are four billion gamers around the world. That's the most diverse group on the Internet,” Gaurav Agarwal, co-founder, Gamezop, noted.
As per Mohit Sureka, founder and CEO, Spiel Studios, brands are using games for advertising and integration. “This is going to go further,” he stated.
“For us, we saw a lot of people started converting into paying users during the pandemic,” Keerti Singh, co-founder and vice president, growth, Octathorpe Web Consultants, stated.
“Post the pandemic, people do want to play more social games,” Sharan Tulsiani, co-founder, Jetapult, said at the India Gaming Summit 2022.
“Brands in India have still not come to terms with engagement in gaming. They tend to focus on view counts instead,” Ninad Chhaya, co-founder and chief metaverse officer, GoPhygital, stated.
“There are two types of AR– mobile AR and wearable AR and there exists a huge difference between the entry points for VR and AR,” Pushpak Kypuram, co-founder and director, NextMeet, stated.
“Talent has been and continues to be an issue in the industry on the developers’ side,” Siddharth Jain, chief creative director, Playware Studios Asia, said.
“Gaming is not bad if done in moderation,” Anurag Khurana, founder and CEO, Newgen Gaming, stated.
There has to be recognistion from the Govt because infrastructure for Esports is ready, says Pranav Panpalia, founder, OpraahFx, added.
“NFT is a way for Esports player to monetise. We are on the verge where NFT will be main revenue stream for Esports player,” Yash Bhanushali, founder, Orangutan, said.
“When it comes to gaming and metaverse, it is more immersive, interactive and brings assorted tools to any gamer. People here will be accepting it faster,” Supreet Raju, co-founder, OneRare, stated at the India Gaming Summit.
“If at all you go to 28% taxation, it becomes difficult for SMEs. Furthermore, higher taxation rate brings up the underground market and player protection becomes an issue,” Gowree Gokhale, partner, Nishith Desai Associates, stated at the India Gaming Summit, 2022.
We should have a lower rate of taxation as it ensures compliance, L Badri Narayanan, executive partner, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan, said.
“The Govt has been very keen in terms of getting views and comments regarding the regulations. We look forward to great cooperation in working towards the growth of this industry. We are serious about the fact this industry requires a soft touch regulation,” Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, stated.
“The gaming industry requires a push not only from people but also the Govt. The Govt has constituted an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) promotion task force,” Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, said.
“Money is never short for coming to the table when it comes to the gaming industry. They are far beyond what they were five or ten years ago,” Biren Ghose, country head, Technicolor India, said.
“If you look at the Indian market from a user perspective, there is so much potential. There is a lot of interest that we see from businesses across telecom, technology, all of them are now taking a far more bigger interest in gaming. India is a mobile first market. This uniqueness and the ability to create content relevant to cater to that audience is key,” Sameer Barde, CEO, E-Gaming Federation, said.
“Gaming is going to be the single largest source of revenue. We need to keep our passion and make constant revision of policies that come into play so that we are more relevant year on year,” Ashish Kulkarni, founder, Punaryug Artvision, stated.
“Gaming is already bigger than box office globally. That is the potential and opportunity in India too,” Munjal Shroff, director and COO, Graphiti Multimedia, stated.
“The gaming industry is going to grow in India and opportunities will come up. Metaverse is a natural progression,” Yogvinder Singh, head, technology, Witzeal Technologies, stated.
“Games are becoming platforms for developer economy. We are seeing developer economy growing,” Arvind Neelakantan, tech evangelist, Epic Games, said.
“The gaming industry has a lot of potential. To have the skill gap demand fulfilled, we have to train people, and secondly, it is important to engage with global talents,” Abhishek Ravi, chief information officer, Dream Sports, said.
“The future of gaming is going to be virtual reality (VR),” Seemant Shankar, executive director and CTO (SportsUnity), Nazara Technologies, said.
“As the monetisation opportunities become a lot more stronger, more people have begun considering gaming as a serious career option,” Khalid Wani, senior director, sales, India, Western Digital, said.
“PC gaming did not gain popularity due to lack of enablers for the masses,” Nitin Goel, country manager, India Sub-Continent, Gameloft, said.
“Indie video games are on the rise in the U.S. 38% of the gamers in the age of 10-20 years in key video game markets have played proto-metaverse game in 2021. The average metaverse player is significantly younger than the average gamer,” Vinay Thakur, MD, National Informatics Centre, Government of India, added.
“In FY21, the revenue of the Esports industry in India was valued at around Rs 2.5 billion. The mobile gaming sector is projected to account for about 50.5% of the gaming industry by 2022,” Vinay Thakur, MD, National Informatics Centre, Government of India, highlighted.
“India has 42 crore active gamers. With the roll out of 5G, cloud enablement, increasing penetration of mobile phones in the country, the sector is expected to grow to a great extent,” Vinay Thakur, MD, National Informatics Centre, Government of India, stated.
India recorded about 390 million online gamers in 2021. As per EY’s latest report Game On!, presently, about 4% of mobile games available on the Play Store are from Indian publishers. Sanjay Sindhwani, chief executive officer, The Indian Express Online Media, said at the India Gaming Summit, 2022