Mobile gaming has come a long way since the early days of mobile phones. Nokia 3310 era mobile games like Snake were very primitive, although still enjoyed by millions. There was little money to be made by these though since most people only played the games that came preloaded on their phone.
Today, things are different, with a huge industry that generates millions in sales each year.
The New Era of Mobile Games
Smartphones started the current revolution we’re seeing since users could download just about any game they liked. Games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush helped to define a new genre of casual gaming that users could play for short bursts in between doing other things.
More recently, however, console-quality games have been appearing on smartphones. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite have shown that smartphones are capable of running fast-paced shoot ’em up style games. These have become popular among the traditional gamer demographic who want to be able to play on the go.
This has been thanks to the powerful hardware that can now be squeezed inside smartphones, like octa-core processors and more RAM than your average laptop.
Meanwhile, puzzle games like Words With Friends and Candy Crush also enjoy huge demand among more casual gamers. They can also run on lower-powered devices, making them more accessible to a wider audience.
New digital versions of classic casino and card games have also become popular in many countries around the world. Major gaming companies like PokerStars provide a platform for gamers to play online poker games in India, without the need to visit a casino. This is significantly more convenient than before since only three of the 36 states and union territories had land-based casinos.
₹30 Billion Market Value
It has been forecasted that by 2022, the market value of the mobile gaming industry within India will climb to around ₹30 billion, putting it fifth in the overall global mobile gaming markets.
This is thanks to the fact that more 220 million Indians play more than 42 minutes of mobile games each day. Around half the nation’s population is expected to play mobile games in some form in the coming years.
In addition to the popularity of casual games and the battle royale genre that was pioneered by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, there are some other factors helping to drive the increase in mobile gaming in India.
Influencers who stream their gaming sessions on platforms like YouTube and Twitch are helping to popularise certain titles. Indian YouTubers like GoldyHindiGaming and CarryisLive and international influencers like PewDiePie and KSI are popular among Indian gamers and non-gamers alike.
Millions of people now “tune in” to watch these influencers play video games and interact with the audience at the same time.
Esports, which are competitive video game competitions are also helping to promote mobile gaming in India.
The country’s leading esports stars took part in the first esports competition at the 2018 Asian Games. Tirth Mehta finished third in the Hearthstone competition, collecting a bronze medal, India’s only medal.
Major players in the esports market are investing heavily in India as they look to gain exposure and recognition for their brands among gamers in India. It is expected that Indian esports will be worth around ₹118 billion by 2023.
This has seen competitions like the Acer Predator Gaming League hold events in the country. The PUBG tournament final was in Bengaluru in 2019 and there are plans to do the same in 2020. Off the back of the league, Acer has seen increased sales across India and the Asia-Pacific region.
There are really two halves to the mobile gaming market in India – one made up of hardcore gamers who want to play AAA titles on their smartphones and another of casual gamers who don’t want to commit to hours-long gaming sessions.
Both of these groups are growing, and combined will help the mobile gaming developers inside and outside of India to prosper.