With over 500 million mobile users, it is no surprise that India has been named as one of the top five biggest mobile gaming markets in the world. On average, statistics show that each Indian player spends $13 annually on mobile games. In addition, Global Games Market Report projects that by 2020, India’s mobile games market could grow as big as $5.2 billion as annual gaming expenditures also rise. Why does India make so much in the industry? How do they fare against the global market? Let’s take a closer look.
Size and Population Advantage
As reported by the United Nations, India is home to 1.35 billion people or 18% of the world’s population in a whopping landmass of over 3 million km². The population density and the number of mobile users make India a better market than most countries. To date, young adults over the age of 25 comprise 95% of the nation’s mobile gaming market. Founder of POKTT, Rohit Sharma, shares that “[a]s much as 89% of all game revenues in India were generated by mobile games.”
Mobile Culture in India
India’s mobile-first culture has played dramatically in shaping the country’s mobile gaming industry. In 2016, India overtook the United States as the second-largest smartphone users in the world. The numbers continue to rise as in 2017 alone, 24% of all new smartphones were sold to Indian consumers.
Gaming regulators in India have described gamers as “highly engaged”, with almost a third of them plays five days a week or more, and almost 40% spend over six hours per week playing mobile games. Figures show that more than half of Indian consumers prefer mobile devices to other mediums for daily activities including reading, watching videos, playing music, social networking, and shopping.
Religion has little to no effect in India’s mobile gaming culture, as statistics show zero difference between users from their major religions. This is seen as a progressive change as India’s history has shown strict cultural ties between religion and economic development.
Innovation and Trends
The biggest factor in India’s rise in the world gaming market is its low data costs. The price range of Internet connection in India is significantly lower than other countries, specially first world nations. For instance, India is ranked 34th in the list of countries with the cheapest internet while Japan is ranked 56th, United Kingdom at 61st, Singapore at 78th, and the United States at 119th. In addition, India is ranked 1st on the world’s list of cheapest mobile broadband prices. This means that Indian mobile users get more for a lesser price than any other mobile user in the world.
Researchers have concluded that the price range in India is due to its innovation in technology coupled with strong net neutrality rules across the nation. The trend in the country also speaks volume where consumers buy cheap smartphones but later spend more on games, applications, and mobile shopping. These expenditures thus account for more income to mobile companies than by starting with high gadget prices. The world has yet to catch up with the practice, as most countries have high mobile phone prices and even higher mobile data prices.
Industry experts declares that India will continue to live in this glory days of mobile gaming prominence should it remain abreast in technological advancement, neutral in its internet laws, and inexpensive in its internet connection costs through broadband or mobile.
Gaming providers, game enthusiasts, and other businesses in the industry stay and thrive in this friendly business environment. The mobile gaming market in India is ripe not just for businesses but for other countries to follow.