Japan, South Korea and China have dominated the gaming world for years, contributing immensely to the growing value of the global gaming market. But now a new force has awaken in Asia: could India become the next booming video gaming hub in the continent?
India’s gaming market grows as China continues to lead
Traditionally, Asian countries are considered to be front runners in the gaming industry, along with heavyweights like the US and Germany. In fact, China currently ranks first in terms of biggest gaming markets worldwide with an estimated gaming revenue of over $40 billion for 2020. The US is a close second at almost $37 billion in value, while Japan ranks third at $18.68 billion. South Korea at an estimated $6.56 and Germany at $5.96 complete the top 5. Japan and South Korea are among developers’ favorite markets to test out new gaming titles – but India could soon establish itself as another top-ranking name on that list.
While the Indian gaming market is still lagging behind in terms of net value, it has exhibited the potential for meteoric rise lately. According to research published on Statista, its value has risen from roughly $835 million (62 billion Indian rupees) in 2019 to a projected $3.4 billion (250 billion Indian rupees) in 2020. A big driver of growth for India is its young population, as younger and more tech-savvy generations are the primary demographic targeted by game developers. India’s population tops 1.35 billion people, while 55% of casual players and 66% of regular players in the country were aged 24 years old or younger.
Diversity of gaming options and mobile gaming contribute to rise
Popular gaming genres like FPS or MMORPG are not the only sectors experiencing growth across India. An updated list of the best online casinos in India reveals that the niche online games sector is also on the rise, with slot machines ranking even above popular table games like roulette and blackjack as the most played online casino game in the country. A largely unexplored market in India, the online casino industry has taken off in the last couple of years as internet penetration rates grow and competing online providers offer fast withdrawals and bonuses to appeal to new players. Ease of use and convenience seem to be among the main factors driving players to online casinos – and also explain the popularity of mobile games in India.
The rise of smartphones, as devices have gradually become more affordable and sophisticated, has managed to help catapult mobile gaming into the top segment to watch when it comes to gaming in India. As per Statista, the market value of the sector is set to rise to $405 million by 2022, while the country is projected to see a staggering 628 million mobile gamers by the end of 2020. The Indian government seems to have recently caught on to the immense potential of the gaming industry for its economy. Its Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the country’s leading tech and innovation manufacturers to develop games linked to India’s rich heritage and culture. According to Modi, this could help India establish itself as a leader in the digital gaming industry.
Could we soon see the Indian gaming industry becoming a contender for the US and China? As interest in video games grows among both the population and the government, that moment might be closer than we think.