Developing countries with massive populations are fast becoming the markets that brands and companies are rushing to grab a part of.
China and India are the two that immediately come to mind, with the latter being of particular interest due to a young and agile population seemingly hungry for mobile entertainment that connects them with other players both from home and abroad.
In this article we look at both why gaming is booming in India and what that could mean for the industry as a whole.
Ancient culture and history are melding with technology in this Asian powerhouse
Mobile Games Lead the Way in India
In a recent study it was found that India was already among the top 5 countries in the world when it comes to engagement with mobile games. This has been largely driven by a burgeoning middle class with more disposable income as well as the slashing in price of mobile phone devices and the internet connections needed to run certain games.
Although in other parts of the world free games that make their revenues via advertising are on the wane, in India the opposite appears to be true, with companies still interested in gamification marketing strategies and users seemingly willing to endure with pop-ups and interruptions to their game play. This proliferation of free games has meant the spread of their use has increased exponentially, laying the ground for paid games to follow close behind.
Mobile gaming is a blossoming billion-dollar industry both worldwide and in India
All Manner of Games Are Striking a Chord with Indian Consumers
So, which are the games that Indians are turning to for their dose of entertainment? The truth is that a wide range of games are capturing the imagination.
Older audiences are being drawn to games whose rules they already have a grasp of, such as some of the free online poker games that are increasingly becoming available as well as other classics like chess, chequers and dominoes.
While their elders may be sticking to what they know, it is clear that younger generations are being drawn to high-concept first person shooters and strategy games, joining a growing online community of gamers for whom conventional borders and IP addresses are no longer relevant boundaries to being able to play along.
Esports Have Lift Off in India
It was inevitable that as Indian players began to engage more with games like League of Legends and Fortnite, so too would their interest grow in the Esports teams and tournaments that promote and take such games to whole new level.
This has led in recent months to new Indian based Esports teams popping up, including the likes of Fnatic India and Entity Gaming. Expect the number of teams to only grow, as Esports tournaments pick up where they left off at the end of 2019.
Another reason for Esports further driving and promoting mobile games in India is down to the rise of online streaming platforms such as Amazon’s Twitch platform, YouTube’s streaming facility, and recently Sony PS5 revealed. It is via such platforms that fans of famous gamers are converted into loyal customers of the game developers themselves, ensuring that a solid client base is always there to help launch exciting new products.
Indian Games Developers Are Sprouting Everywhere
The worry for Indian tech firms is that rather than home grown talent being at the forefront of the Indian gaming boom, that foreign companies will be its overwhelming beneficiaries.
However, signs are that Indian start-ups and new game development companies are beginning to flourish and thrive. This was evidenced by Forbes stating that since 2010 the number of such companies based in the country has grown from just 25 to 250. With more of the population being exposed to the games and technology involved to make them, this seems like one country where gaming could be about to truly explode.