Although, the business is in its nascent stage yet the initial stages itself are indicative of a suitable gaming ecosystem under construction this year. With the focus on making cutting-edge games, the ecosystem is already buzzing with game developers, designers, investors and entrepreneurs, among others, all working in tandem to meet the end users known as gamers.
A prediction that was made back in 2017 is increasingly becoming a reality. The gaming industry is gaining way more prominence in India than expected with the net and smartphone entering the minds of generally all age groups but particularly the lush youth of India.
Real money games are those wherein gamers have to put in some money for a bet or entry fee in order to get a greater amount in return or money back gains have been rising for a couple of years. The first wave of real money games in India was started with Adda 52, Rummy, Poker and then came the second wave of fantasy games driven by the likes of Fantasy 11, Mobile Premier League, etc.
Betting has its roots in the history of sports in India but with the emergence of fantasy games, which gives gambling a legal status, countless Indians have bet equal amounts of money on those games. In 2018, according to a report, Indian gamers spent a staggering $1.73 billion in online sports betting and this amount is set to increase monumentally this season, particularly after cricket resumes in the country. Some analysis reports also have suggested that, despite cricket controlling the betting segment, Indians may also influence into other sports like Kabbadi, Football, Hockey, etc, for greater chances of winning bets.
You must have seen the concept of e-sports largely blooming this year with COVID-19 shutting down all sports activities. Months before the English Premier League resumed in mid-June, professional soccer players rather than taking the field have been revealed competing against each other in football video games (FIFA 20). A huge craze had built itself around this concept. You see, India is a sports loving nation and when you give gamers a chance to provide their perspectives on the games that they love; to choose the teams, plan out the strategy and implement them in the digital world via video games, the prevalence of it is bound to skyrocket. No wonder experts have predicted the e-sports sector in India to be valued at around INR 11,880 crore by 2023.
Socializing via gaming is particularly a new characteristic of online gaming. The gamer gets the opportunity to not only earn a paycheck for himself while gaming but also indulge in joyful competition with family, strangers and friends no matter where they are on earth. If looked at from a psychological viewpoint, the gamer is no longer the loner but can involve him socializing with people who share the same passions. In 2019, Chinese social gaming app HAGO was swift in popularizing itself among the Indian audience. The game, which allows users to discover friends, host'voice parties', play games and earn rewards in return, crossed 1 million downloads in a year. Other games like Ludo King, Habbo, PUBG, etc, also gained tremendous prominence in India because they helped players create a community for themselves.
To understand what is in store for us in 2020 and the years to come, let's check out the top five trends that will likely define India's gaming industry.
In 2017, KPMG in a report said the online gaming industry in India will add 190 million gamers and very likely touch $1 billion in revenue by 2021. The fact that the business is growing at a rate of 22 per cent now, bears testimony to what the KPMG report had observed. And of course, COVID-19, otherwise quite deadly, has aided the progress since people are staying inside and majority are turning to gambling platforms to while away their time. Indubitably, these platforms are bringing hundreds and thousands of new players on a daily basis.
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