Mobile Games Are the New Normal of Commonplace Entertainment

Most Indians experienced the change first-hand – the pandemic forced the nation and the world to stay home, work from a distance and consume online. With over 750 million online users officially (and largely mobile-first), India has become an important digital market for top smartphone apps and online services. Internet sessions dedicated to work, entertainment, OTT-viewership and social media have increased dramatically over the past year, mostly because of the series of lockdowns and the resulting digital transition.

A new survey dedicated to mobile gaming and online entertainment highlights the elevated standing of smartphone games in the daily routine of desi users. Both the amount of time spent playing mobile games and the variety of mobile apps have increased dramatically, with almost half of all Indians having played games on their smartphones over the past year.

Online gamer profiles are also evolving: instant and social games, online casino games played on websites such as PureWin.com board and card favourites are valued by Gen X users (45+), while younger players prefer action and battle arena games, and female users appreciate casual and instant games. Interestingly, females have reached 43 per cent of the entire mobile gaming audience. Overall, the affordability of smartphones, cheap data packages and better internet reach have contributed to online gaming becoming an affirmed pastime for all Indians.

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A Cross-Over Market Segment Feeding Tech Growth

Mobile games have become more than a niche in casual online entertainment. A growing number of desi users find them a pragmatic means to connect with family and friends or an interest-based community. The mobile gaming market has grown into a massive source of revenue for over 300 Bharat-based development studios and it is projected to be worth at least USD 3 billion by 2023.

An integral part of an online consumer’s daily life, casual gaming mobile apps have stimulated investor interest – both national and foreign-based. More importantly, top-level games made in India serve the local demand first, with startups dedicating more time and resources to local fan favourites and desi classics such as teen patti and andar bahar or Hindi-themed action and adventure games.

While the IT sector has been understandably less affected by Covid-19 economic downswing, Bharat’s tech industry is projected to build upon its strong recent performance. Many companies are finding their feet in new settings, as the sector is pushing to replace top-performing Chinese apps and online services. Far from being a mere back office for offshore platforms, Indian game studios are gaining due national and global recognition through experience, know-how and innovation in their segment.

With the latest numbers from a booming national demand in gaming solutions, it looks like they will have plenty of room to prove their worth to their own compatriots first. Foreign tech giants and investors have improved the desi IT ecosystem in the past, consumers have responded readily to the present. India’s online gaming future looks exciting and yet to be written.