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The potential in the Indian gaming market is huge but to take advantage it is important to understand what makes the market so unique. Attend this VB Live event to learn how to overcome the biggest challenges, find an audience and perform well.
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Why has the Indian market emerged as a huge opportunity for gaming companies of all sizes? There are dozens of factors to consider when assessing the opportunities to enter new markets. But key factors affecting growth rates and location are the size and engagement of the potential audience along with the number of local game developers, says Yulia Mikhailova, Payments Business Development Lead at Xsolla. In all three areas, India is blowing competition away.
First, the region has entered the world’s top 10 game markets with revenue, occupying sixth place, leaving France and Germany, the two great whales. In 2019, the online video game market was around 65 billion rupees, or about $ 850 million. In 2020, it crossed $ 1 billion, and it is valued at $ 1.83 billion now, exceeding estimates by nearly $ 1 billion. And it will be a $ 4 billion option in 2026.
Second, there are more than 400 million people playing online video games in India – that equates to 31% of the entire population. And that means that 13% of online video players worldwide or every tenth player in the world are based in India. In addition, the number of players is expected to grow by more than 50% and reach more than 600 million players by 2025. And as an indicator of how committed potential users are, India took third place, just behind China and Vietnam in terms of terms. average weekly hours spent on online video games. That’s about nine hours a week, which is higher than the global average.
The last indicator is the number of local game developers, indicating how competitive the local market is and how easy it is for new items to gain a foothold. The number of companies stands at more than 400 right now, up from just 25 back in 2010. However, these are peanuts compared to global giants like the US or European countries where there are millions of game developers.
In short, India is a market that should be considered by foreign developers and publishers, precisely because the majority of the best game downloads are from foreign publishers. Every month, Indian users download more than 1 billion apps from the Play Store.
Mikhailova points to three major foreign publishing successes, including Zyngas Rangoli Rekha, developed specifically for Indian audiences. Piggybacking on patriotic sentiments and national elements, Zynga incorporated traditional Rangoli patterns that adorn the floors of Indian houses and associated the game with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Kiloo’s Subway Surfers were released in India with street levels in Mumbai and replaced the western foliage with lotus flowers, India’s national flower. And Clash of Clans, which became one of the most lucrative games in India, became a massive success without any visual localization.
“The Indian gaming market has been dominated by Western publishers for years, and as a result, audiences have become accustomed to Western games and themes,” says Mikhailova.
Mikhailova also notes that language is not a barrier in India as it can be in many other global markets as not only the Indian Constitution recognizes 22 major languages spoken English quite commonly. This makes it much easier for Western developers to enter the market with English localization first.
She also points out four major opportunities or growth indicators. The first is how fast the younger population is growing, with 26% between the ages of 24 and 40. And over 55% of Indian players of working age are potentially paying users. Disposable income is also rising, rising by 30% over the last four or five years, meaning Indians are potentially ready to spend more on entertainment, including online video games. The third factor is the rapidly increasing number of smartphones: India has the second most smartphone users in the world after China, which means that the market for mobile games is huge.
Finally, another indication that the market is ripe for growth is the adoption of digital payments. The local government has implemented cashless policies, introduced new local digital payment methods such as RuPay card networks, local digital wallets (Paytm wallet, Mobikwik, PhonePe, etc.) and more. All of these make the payment experience smoother, more secure and more rewarding for end customers.
Revenue generation and revenue streams
For Western developers, there are a number of ways to build and make money on a successful game in India, but the popularity of the smartphone means that the mobile gaming market is booming. Mobile users make up about 85% of the market, followed by PC at around 11% and then console users at 4%.
“When you come to India, first consider launching mobile games,” Mikhailova notes. “Plus, as an advantage, mobile games require lower development costs and they are faster to release.”
Do not miss this VB Live event to learn more about launching in the Indian market, user acquisition and retention and more.
Sign up here for free.
You learn about:
- The lowest barriers for new developers
- The challenges that new competitors face – and how to overcome them
- The most effective revenue strategies for the market
- Build reliable revenue streams
- Establishment of a solid, secure payment strategy
- Florent Vallauri, Managing Director, South Asia Pacific, Gameloft
- Girish Menon, Partner and boss, media and entertainment, KPMG India
- Yulia Mikhailova, Payments Business Development Manager, Xsolla
- Mike Minotti, Editor Editor, GamesBeat (moderator)