As per industry experts, a professional gamer in India rakes in Rs 70-85 lakh per annum as income
Caption: Not to mention, PUBG gamers have now diversified and shifted to other gaming platforms such as Valorent, Call of Duty Mobile, Free Fire, Minecraft, among others.
The online gaming industry which was valued at Rs 9,000 crore in FY2020, is expected to grow by 59% to over Rs 14,300 crore by 2022, as per Statista. However, not all gamers are expected to benefit from this steep growth, especially PUBG players — as the game remains banned in India. “Those playing PUBG have seen a decline in earnings as there used to be many official and unofficial tournaments in India,” Kiran Noojibail, director, esports and broadcasting, LXG, told BrandWagon Online.
A professional gamer has three sources of income – brand partnerships, money earned from streaming of a game besides tournament prize money. Further, in some cases these gamers are hired by esports companies either as a player, coach or a shoutcaster and even as a member of a team, thereby allowing them to earn a monthly salary. As per industry estimates, professional PUBG players have so far seen a 20% decline in income. But with the other games such as Free Fire, Call of Duty mobile and Valorent, among others quickly replacing PUBG — gamers have been able to retain some portion of their earnings. For example, Free Fire gamers and streamers claim to have seen an increase of 10% in their earning post September, 2020. “Every gamer who was dependent on PUBG has seen a major dip in revenue. On the other hand, gamers who diversified outside of PUBG have seen a rise in revenue. Hence, even in gaming, one should not put all their eggs in one basket,” Pranav Panpalia, founder, OpraahFx, stated.
Not to mention, PUBG gamers have now diversified and shifted to other gaming platforms such as Valorent, Call of Duty Mobile, Free Fire, Minecraft, among others. Infact, the rise in popularity for other games have also translated into tournaments’ prize pool. For instance, Garena’s Free Fire India Championship (FFIC) 2021 Spring offers a total prize pool of Rs 75 lakh while Qualcomm Snapdragon Conquest comes with a total pool prize of Rs 50 lakh. According to industry estimates, professional gamers earn anywhere between Rs 70-85 lakh per annum, if they are also content creators. Aside from winning the prize pool, a professional gamer is paid upto Rs 50,000 per month from the esports company they represent. Beyond this, from brand partnership deals, gamers earn anywhere between Rs 3-5 lakh per million views and rake in $300-500 per million views from streaming on YouTube.
As per Statista’s latest report, In India, approximately 55% are casual gamers. About 66% of the heavy gamers are below the age group of 24 years. Interestingly, heavy gamers prefer to use their mobile phones as gaming devices instead of desktops or even laptops. While shooter and sports games were popular among men, Indian women preferred strategy and adventure games. “There was a massive boom in PC gamers last year. Games such as Valorant, Minecraft, and Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) are trending and rising in popularity,” Ajay (Ajjubhai), Total Gaming, Free Fire YouTuber, said.
As more and more games are introduced in the Indian market, the sector is now being looked upon as a serious employment generator. The rise in employment opportunities is one of the key reasons behind the growth in the gaming industry. By the end of 2022, the estimated number of employees within the market would be over 40,000.