The Indian gaming market, estimated at $338.4 million in revenue in 2017, is expected to grow threefold in four years, backed by Internet penetration, sustained local development, improved digital payment infrastructure and preference towards subscription model.
The Indian gaming market is forecast to grow to $1.1 billion in 2021, almost entirely driven by growth in mobile gaming revenue, Frost & Sullivan said in a report.
The global games market generated revenue of $104.8 billion in 2016, an increase of 12.6% from 2015. Global revenue is likely to increase to $151.7 billion in 2021.
“Growth is expected to be driven from South-East Asia, Middle East and India as these regions have an advantage of optimistic economic outlook, favourable demographics and rising growth in smartphone penetration and Internet,” the report said.
As per the Frost & Sullivan report, while in the past, reluctance from the consumers to pay for games had led to heavy reliance on advertisement-based monetisation, in the long term there will be growth of freemium models (a business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for) coupled with in-app purchases.
Experts said they believed that a male audience, through cricket mobile games, will drive this growth. “Gaming is growing in India but is not growing at the same rate of video. We believe that as people become more comfortable in mobile Internet, gaming will become the entertainment destination,” said Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies Ltd., a leading mobile gaming company having presence across 61 countries. “If there are 120 million gamers in India today, we believe there will be 300 million games in three years. Their spending time on playing games will increase from 10 to 15 minutes now to 45 minutes to one hour. Then, we can build a meaningful business and the revenue from gaming will explode. The market is going to grow as the Internet infrastructure strengthens,” he added.
“There exists a huge potential in gaming market in India. India already leads the world in mobile game downloads and game companies are now beginning to figure out how to effectively monetize this large group of gamers. Over the next few years, we should see the emergence of global gaming giants out of India,” said Nishith Shah, co-founder and CEO, 18th Parallel, a console gaming company.
With India becoming the second largest smartphone market after China and Government providing impetus to affordable high-speed Internet, gaming will grow, experts said.