The world is still grappling with both the fear and inconvenience of the COVID-19 global pandemic. India, in particular, has been dealing with a gradually plummeting economy, but fortunately, its online gaming sector was and is still on a resurgent spike more than before.
Thanks to the drastic internet and mobile technology revolution across the nation, online gaming seems to be cutting across all ages, gender, and even socio-economic groups. Surprisingly, about 60 % of the total online gamers in India are 24 years and below, while the revenues from online gaming are steadily growing each year by a steady 22%.
The All India Gaming Federation outlines that the current number of India online gamers is around 300 million, with the majority being the young internet users. What’s more, there are many more domestic game developers, in addition to an increasing user appetite, especially for local games. To give you a better outlook on precisely what you should expect for India’s online gaming industry, check out these four industry trends.
1.) VR going mainstream
By the beginning of 2020, many experts predicted that Virtual Reality (VR) would significantly take off in India, affecting numerous industries across the nation.
Currently, VR is a significant trend in the country and is already finding use as an effective tool for businesses, healthcare, as well as education. Similarly, this technology is set to find its way into the online gaming sector within the year.
What is perhaps the most significant contributing factor to VR in the online gaming sector is the fact that the distinct hardware necessary for playing online VR games is now reasonably cheaper.
This means that the device is now affordable, even ordinary Indians. Moreover, owing to the radical VR advancements over the years, this technology is far better suited to offer a satisfying online gaming experience unlike before.
2.) Online Casino Play Gaining More Popularity
Another remarkable trend that has rocked India recently is playing online casino games. The surge is primarily boosted by the younger players who are always looking for online activities to engage in.
India has several fantastic online casinos which now allow players to engage in various games including slots and card games. In 2019 alone, India’s online gambling market was estimated to be worth about 62 million rupees, a figure that is expected to rise significantly over the years.
Ideally, if things continue to unfold in this manner, it will not be surprising to see the online casino play in India double in worth and even the number of players in due time.
3.) Home-made India Online Games
The appetite for online gaming in India has effectively resulted in an unexpected boom in the number of local game developers and games in the country.
Now, multiple domestic game developers are continually introducing several popular desi games such as Teen Patti and Rummy to the online gaming realm. These releases are slowly catching the attention of both casual and heavy gamers across the nation.
With the enhanced smartphone penetration, homegrown developers can now pre-install or pre-load these local games on multiple India handsets. This digitization and customization of customary Indian games are expected to revolutionize the state of the country’s online gaming market.
What’s more, this remarkable approach of promoting local content is expected to grow even further through the adoption of the local language. Considering that the number of internet users using the Indian language is predicted to hit 540 million users in 2021, it is easy to expect more investment in this particular trend.
4.) The Unrelenting Fantasy Gaming Frenzy
Until just recently, the Indian gambling authority had labeled fantasy sports as illegal. This was primarily because it was majorly confused with gambling and betting. However, after unquestionable debut and massive success of Dream 11 (the first gaming unicorn in India) in 2020, it proved a game-changer for the sector.
In the last three years, fantasy sports players in the country have increased by around 25 times with a similarly momentous growth in the overall number of fantasy games platforms offering these games.
This, combined with the fact that a majority of internet users play fantasy sports, consistently play on a daily and weekly basis, this segment may well be the next big thing for online gaming in India.
A seemingly unstoppable momentum
Looking at how far India’s online gaming industry has grown over the years, penetrating across both genders, different geographies, and age groups, this growth is well poised to continue magnifying. Many more immersive and engaging online gaming experiences will be developed, in addition to the creation of more local games, and gaming unicorns.
In fact, with gaming technologies growing more accessible and affordable by the day, do not be surprised if fantasy sports dethrone cricket!
Visual journalist/Graduating student, University of Missouri-Columbia. Lover of everything in the gaming industry and an avid fan of all films!