The Rise Of Online Gaming In India


The Indian online gaming industry is witnessing tremendous growth. The sector has seen its revenue double in less than four years. In 2018, it recorded INR 43.8 billion in revenues, which is vastly due to the increased number of players in the last decade.  But what is driving this growth?

The internet gaming ecosystem has benefited from developers, new entrepreneurs and direct foreign investment. Chinese behemoths like Tencent, Alibaba and Youzou are all in haste to claim a stake in the industry.

The Industry Overview and Outlook

The smartphone revolution is the key driver here. It has opened up the online gaming market driving rapid adoption among the millennials. In 2019, online gamers in India stood at 300 million. The country online game downloads on app stores grew at over 165 percent between 2016 and 2018.

According to t0 KPMG, 60 percent of India’s online gamers are below the age of 24. These young internet users enjoy such games directly through gaming portals or mobile apps. Plus, there is an increasing number of home-grown game developers who are helping localize the game content and increasing online appetite gaming.

The online gaming industry is divided into three segments, namely:

  • Real money games
  • Mobile gaming
  • Fantasy sports (esports)

From 2018, online gaming industry revenues are growing at an annual rate of 22 percent. All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) hopeful the income will tick USD 1.1 billion 2021 as projected by KPMG. As we speak, there are 250 game developers, up ten times from 2010, when there were just 25 of them in the country.

Real Money Games

India ranks among the fastest-growing online betting communities, amidst the legal limbo on the matter. Gambling remains a state subject as each state is entitled to formulate laws its gambling laws. The Public Gambling Act of 1867, though, prohibits running or visiting a public gambling house.

But other laws classify games two main categories, a game of skill and game of chance. Most casinos only offer strategy genre games like Rummy and Poker, which are legally allowed.

The law, however, is predominantly silent on online gambling. In the same line, the Information Technology Act 2000, the overall law that oversights cyber activities in India does not mention gambling or betting, which is the loophole casinos operating in the country use. The best casino in India is the one that offers sports betting and other real money games.

Mobile Gaming

India’s mobile app market continues to draw plenty of attention globally, but games have been a primary driver since 2016. The market India jumped into first place globally by game downloads, surpassing both Russia and Brazil over the last four years. Most of this growth is down to the surging adoption of powerful low-cost smartphones. India today is the prime gaming market, with local and international game developers.

Online Fantasy Sports Gaming

OFSG is a skill-based online sports gaming that allows sports fans to create their teams constituted of the real-life players from the various leagues across India. The sports maybe cricket, football, basketball, kabaddi, and or any other popular sports games.

The virtual teams earn points based on the statistical performance of their players during real-life matches and ranked based on the points garnered. The most popular provider of this game is Dream11.

Final Word

Experts believe the Indian online gaming market will continue to experience accelerated growth, mostly driven by the benefits of Indian digitalization. And with the advancement in technology such as blockchain and AI, both entrepreneurs and players have a vast opportunity ahead.

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