India’s billion-dollar digital gaming market on the upswing

30 Apr 2019

The Indian digital gaming industry has tremendous potential as it is poised to have over 300 million gamers by 2021. There is a high sense of optimism amongst advertisers, retailers and promoters as the market is fast growing from the present USD 890 million.

Though the Indian market constitutes a mere 1% of the world gaming market, it continues to attract the young generation. The necessary infrastructure is already in place which includes internet connectivity, smartphones, data access and upbeat economic potential for gaming companies.

As gaming continues to attract more and more people, eSports is also becoming hugely popular with over 2 million existing viewers and poised to grow five times by 2021. Some are even taking it up as a professional career.  

Gaming content is gaining prominence in digital channels such as YouTube and carries the potential of being telecast on TV. As thousands turn out to watch eSports gamers play live and millions more watch on the internet, media companies are taking note. Soon eSports could become regular shows on TV sports channels.

With rising local development of games, potential for monetisation and job creation facilities in the gaming sector is rising. A variety of training courses on gaming have started and college going students even have the opportunity of interning in gaming companies. 

With over 7.7 billion app downloads already, the present billion-dollar gaming market has the potential to become a trillion-dollar market, second only to China. It is expected that by 2021, average data consumption of Indians will jump 7 times to become 7GB per person and the gaming adoption rate will grow by over 50%, the second highest in the world!

Presently, the gaming market comprises of three types of gaming; mobile gaming, computer gaming and console gaming. Emerging digital technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and console gaming are being used in creating new games which is making gaming more thrilling.

Gaming is quite flexible as it can be played by a single player or the more popular multiple-player format. It also has the facility of being played on various devices like mobiles, computers and on console devices. The emerging trend in India is the shift from console gaming to mobile gaming primarily due to the improvements in wireless connectivity in the country. Many mobile gaming companies are promoting the adoption of Platform as a Service (PaaS) to significantly reduce the time taken to create games.

There are however some threats to the gaming industry. Exactly like films, pirated games are readily available either online or on CDs/DVDs. This allows users to enjoy their favourite digital game at a minimal price. Piracy of games and its ready availability is a growing menace for this industry.

Online gaming laws in India too are still in its formative stages. These will keep evolving to cater to the growing market requirements. Regulatory provisions will need to be strengthened to included necessary prohibitions and restrictions as the techno legal framework in put in place.

Like the software industry, Indian gaming industry has tremendous growth potential to emerge as a world beater!  

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