The prevalence of online gaming in India is growing all the time, although the uptake has been slower than in some other countries as a result of infrastructural limitations that are only just being overcome.
With that in mind, here is a look at the key trends that are shaping this segment at the moment, pinpointing the user habits and fashions that will continue to influence interactive entertainment going forwards.
Mobile gaming is king
As mentioned, India’s fixed line internet availability is lower than in many other countries, with just 17 million homes served. This means that the primary platform that people choose to play games on is mobile, since network connectivity for portable devices is cheaper to access and easier to roll out over large areas.
The good news is that modern smartphones that are available to Indian consumers are comparatively powerful for their price, opening up a whole range of interactive entertainment options. From playing first person shooters and battle royale titles to enjoying slots and table games on sites like Casumo casino, mobile devices are able to offer a hugely diverse set of experiences to people who want to play online.
Experts expect that mobile gaming will fuel industry growth in the next-half decade, with the value predicted to grow from 62 billion rupees in 2019 to more than 250 billion by the time that 2020 rolls around. With more than half a billion Indians already playing games on their mobiles, this estimate may even be conservative.
Young people are leading the way
Gaming may gradually be growing its influence and extending its reach into older age groups in some parts of the world, but in India it is still predominantly an industry which relies on the engagement with and investment from young people.
Two thirds of the people from India who classify themselves as frequent online gamers are aged 24 and under, and once again it is smartphones that are their platform of choice, with traditional PCs falling out of favour as the convenience of portable play fits in with the busy lifestyles of Generation Z.
Consoles are gaining traction
Even with mobiles being the go-to place to play games online amongst the Indian population, there is still a lot to be said about the way that consoles are shaping this industry and fuelling its growth as a pastime in this part of the world.
Indeed the console market is more lucrative than the PC gaming market in India, generating almost three times as much revenue in 2019 and cementing the idea that people are eager to play high quality, big budget games in the comfort of their own homes. Online play is key to many console big-hitters, such as the Call of Duty franchise and recent upstarts like Fortnite, so as ownership increases, so to the demand for solid domestic broadband connections will flourish.
We are also on the cusp of the dawning of a new console generation, with the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X both set to launch before the end of 2020. This will give further impetus for major players Sony and Microsoft to target Indian gamers with cutting edge tech.
In-game transactions are increasingly popular
Another concept that mobile gaming is bringing to the table in India is that paying real-world cash for digital items, as well as generally putting trust in intangible platforms to transfer money, is a good idea.
While it may have started as a trend in free-to-play mobile games and on gambling-style services, the spread of this behaviour to other areas is likely to result in significant changes to other industries and activities in India going forwards.