After many years of people predicting it would happen the Indian gaming market has finally reached a tipping point, and taken off. Sales of consoles and games are set to soar as people finally find enough time and money to be able to enjoy gaming in the way many have been doing in Europe and North America for over a decade.
According to a recent report release by Google India and KPMG, the Indian gamer market will triple by 2021. That means that the market would be worth around $1 billion, by then.
Indians are showing far more interest in playing online games than ever before. The number of searches made in India for related searches has risen by more than 100%.
Currently, there are around 120 million Indian gamers, by 2021 that number is likely to be around 310 million. The games that are already popular are those that are already being played by Indian players. In India, communities are still strong, so people are still greatly influenced by those in their peer group.
However, a lot of Indians are still living on tight budgets, which is bound to hold many back from being able to sign up for online games. It is far more likely that they will get interested in gaming by playing on their smartphones. Currently, only 17% of Indians actually own a smartphone, but that is also changing.
In just the past two years the number of Indian smartphone owners has risen by 25%. At the moment 61% of Indians own a non-smartphone. Naturally most of those users aspire to buy a smartphone, and they are working hard to achieve that goal.
This year, 220 million Indians confirmed they had a smartphone. That means that India knocked the USA off the 2nd spot when it comes to the number of individuals that use a smartphone. There is no doubt that retailers will chase this market hard, and when they succeed in breaking through gaming firms will push their mobile gaming platforms hard.
It will not be long before we start seeing online games that have been developed specifically for the Indian market, rather than Western players. As you would expect there are already numerous Indian gaming companies developing and launching online games that are aimed squarely at young Indian men, who love all things tech.
Amongst the most promising Indian gaming startups are Zebu Games and 99Games. Both have wisely targeted the mobile games market, and done so with some success. Their business model is simple. They offer free games in multiple Indian languages and use in game adverts to fund their endeavours. It is a tried and tested business market, that is particularly well suited to the Indian market.