Smartphone adoption spurs increase in number of gaming startups in India

New Delhi: The pandemic has sped up gaming around the world and in India the increase in gaming time on smartphones has spurred the growth of hardcore gamers, although casual gaming remains the most popular genre.

Affordable smartphones, a young population and a new generation of developers and designers have led to an increase in the number of game startups.

India is currently home to over 430 million mobile gamers and their number is expected to reach 650 million by 2025. Currently, mobile games dominate the industry, contributing over 90% to the current 1.6 billion game market. dollars in the country, according to a latest report from the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

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The pandemic has accelerated the organic growth of digital games, with mobile app downloads increasing by 50% and user engagement by 20%.

“The Indian gaming ecosystem is made up of gamers of all ages, game developers and designers, investors and marketers all working together to bring the latest cutting edge games, concepts and offerings to gamers.” , Sean (Hyunil) Sohn, Head of India. The division of Krafton, Inc., told IANS.

Krafton introduced Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) which has brought together over 50 million users in the country.

Gaming startups in India have attracted $ 1.6 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to a report by investment banking platform Maple Capital Advisors.

Almost 90% of the investments went to two big players in the fantasy sports and platform games sector: Dream Sports and the Mobile Premier League (MPL).

Top venture capitalists have also invested millions of dollars in other gaming startups like PlayShifu, Zupee, and Winzo.

PUBG Mobile developer Krafton has invested $ 22.4 million in local esports company Nodwin Gaming.

“Younger people are also more likely to play games online, especially on their smartphones and with 60% of Indian online gamers aged 18-24. India is a great country for the growth of online games. line, ”Sohn said.

The use of smartphones, increased internet access, a greater assortment of mobile games, and the increase in game and influencer flows have all helped games in the country.

Over 40% of hardcore mobile gamers pay for their games with an average spend of Rs 230 per month.

“Affordable smartphones with high-speed internet access have made it easier and convenient for a user to consume their preferred format of interactive games from anywhere,” Paavan Nanda, CEO and co-founder of the app, told IANS. WinZO social games.

Ludo King which was released in 2016 topped top games like Candy Crush Saga, PUBG, Clash of Clans, Subway Surfers, Temple Run and others among monthly active users in India last year.

Sohn believes that the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown have fueled the Indian subcontinent’s unprecedented rise in the gaming industry.

“The 2020s and 2021s have been very prosperous years for the gaming industry, with a huge influx of games, players and developers,” Sohn told IANS.

Indian games have joined the mobile gaming movement due to the rapid increase in smartphone penetration in the country, with major console and PC games now being organized for mobile platforms. The sector is also attracting investment, with nearly $ 1 billion invested in the sector in the past six months.

“Over the past few years, the electronic game industry in India has grown tremendously, driven by the increasing opportunities for digitization and improved accessibility driven by innovation and affordability by OEMs (manufacturers Original Equipment Equipment, ”according to Navnit Nakra, vice president of OnePlus India, chief strategy officer and head of sales in India.

Smartphones have become more affordable and contain solid hardware, equipped to run games that may require medium to high specs. This opened the accessibility to more immersive games for the masses.

“Over the past 12 years, we have had to update our GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) over 700 times, which is consumer demand,” said Rajen Vagadia, vice president and president of Qualcomm.

Electronic sports have also seen a huge increase in India, leading to an increase in employment opportunities.

Recently, the Asian Games Committee and the Olympic Games Federation have recognized online gaming and included it as an official sport in the 2022 Asian Games, which is a turning point for the online gaming industry.

“While game development depended primarily on international publishers, there has been a seismic shift with an increased focus on local development which is of high quality by nature,” Nanda said.

“It catapulted India towards value-driven consumption,” Nanda added.

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