Mobile gaming surges in India

Mobile gaming surges in India

Guest post from Paul Davis. Paul is a keen tech fanatic. He’s also an avid gamer who has unhealthy obsession with retro games and can be often found playing on his Nintendo 64.

Mobile games seem to have become more popular in India recently according to a slew of high profile studies. In 2016, statistics company Tune undertook a survey which revealed that about 86% of the people who owned smartphones in India used the device to play games on a regular basis. Following in the footsteps of the UK, India now seems to be a major player in the gaming industry – that was until they overtook them. Compared to the 86% in India, only 64% of the smartphone ownership in the UK plays games on their gadgets.

Indian gamers were also found to be frequent downloaders of both free-to-play and pay-to-play games. About 43% of respondents downloaded a new title every week, while 16% downloaded games every day. The survey reflects App Annie’s report on the country’s app consumption with the latter finding that the average consumer in India typically uses about 40 apps per month.

With India’s recent acceptance of gaming as a national past time, developers have found a loyal demographic that they can generate revenues from. Apart from in-game advertisements, game developers have started creating location-relevant apps and games for the region’s loyal fanbase.

For casual gamers, there’s online titles that have been released to appeal to Indians, such as Indian Rummy, which is based on the native game Paplu. Additionally, there’s apps that empower fashionistas in the region like Indian Fashion Stylist, which aims to find the next great fashion designer. You can also add Stampede to the growing list of games, which is being hosted on the gaming site Slingo. Stampede features the typical wildlife that frequents the country as well as sounds that are synonymous with India.

The creation of these apps and games seems to have worked, as game developers have found India to be a lucrative region in terms of revenue. Tune reported that about 34% of smartphone users claim to have shelled out money on in-app purchases during game play. The size of the Indian market alone means that mobile gaming revenues are quite substantial in the country, which is estimated to reach around INR 175 billion by 2019. 

Advertisers also seem to be investing heavily in mobile apps. Tune says that more than half of their respondents claim that they have previously watched in-game ads in order to get virtual prizes. For example, in some games, watching a 1-minute advertisement gives players extra coins or life that are beneficial to advancing in the game. India, despite being constrained by the country’s expensive and slow mobile broadband connections, have a lot of in-game ads today due to the sheer number of people who are willing to give up a few minutes of their time just to have an edge in the game that they play every day. 

Smartphone gaming is certainly here to stay, and it will continue to be popular among Indian consumers until a new gadget comes along that is more convenient and practical than the average smartphone.

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