Online gaming has experienced explosive growth in the past years, particularly in the last year as the world takes part in the age of social distancing—the long-haul kind—amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. In India, a new report found that gamers spend more than 8.5 hours each week playing games—putting India in third place among the countries that were surveyed.
36.9% of gamers in India are ‘experts’
For its new report, titled State of Online Gaming – 2020, Limelight surveyed 4,500 respondents from France, China, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam “to determine the types of games they play and how often, the devices they use, how they access content, and what they believe is important for a successful gaming experience.”
The survey found that gamers in India spend an average of 8.61 hours weekly on games, while Chinese gamers averaged 12.39 hours of gaming per week, and gamers in Vietnam spend 10.16 hours gaming each week. Of these respondents from India, 47.1 percent say they play online games on websites such as PureWin in India —which range from casual entertainment games to card games like online Andar Bahar real cash—while 36.9 percent described themselves as “experts.” And that’s not surprising; India’s gaming market is mobile-first, after all, as ENV Media research has found.
India online gaming reaches ‘new pinnacle’
The country has recorded about 365 million online gamers in the financial year 2020, according to research by Statista, noting that, “Overall, India ranked the highest in terms of the growth in online game downloads on app stores with a growth rate of 165 percent between 2016 to 2018.”
Meanwhile, a separate study by KPMG in India and Google is expecting that the online gaming industry in the country will add 190 million gamers “and become a USD1 billion opportunity by 2021.”
“The online gaming consumers market, characterized by large volumes, is rising fast in terms of usage and monetization. The local development is characterized by highly skilled manpower and expertise,” according to the KPMG report. “In the future, India is expected to move towards value-driving consumption and comprehensive local development. The industry is expected to gain momentum and reach a market value of 1 billion USD and ~310 million online gamer(s) by 2021.”
Online gaming’s explosion in popularity, particularly on the mobile front, can be attributed to several things—including the mass availability of low-cost mobile phones as well as cheap data packages. In an interview with Indian Express, Randall Fernandez, general manager of esports team Team Vitality, said, “The proliferation of low-cost mobile phones and inexpensive data packages not only resulted in millions of Indians gaming but also consuming huge amounts of digital content, creating the perfect condition for a successful and thriving mobile esports ecosystem.”
He added, “While Southeast Asia’s games ecosystem is different in each country, every one of them is a mobile-first market, like India, translating to mobile esports dominating that region as well.”