An overview of the changing gambling landscape in India

Before the pandemic hit, tech companies were actively introducing features that allowed users to reduce screen time. All of that has changed with COVID-19, which has led to an increase in time spent staring at screens, with education and work moving online. The gaming industry has largely benefited from this trend, boosted by the high proliferation of smartphones and cheap data plans in India over the past few years.

According to a recent study by global audit firm KPMG, the Indian mobile gaming industry generated revenue of Rs 136 billion, or Rs 13,600 crore, last year and is expected to earn Rs 290 billion. , or Rs 29,000 crore, by 2024-25. . The report notes that this will be supported by an increasing focus of game developers on paid or freemium models. Freemium is a model where a game is free, but additional features must be purchased.

The user base is also expected to grow from 433 million last year to 657 million in 2025, an increase of more than 50%. These include casual gamers who play to kill time; real money gamblers, who wager real money in online games; online fantasy sports, in which players build their fantasy teams and earn money based on points earned; and esports, which are professional games, with players competing to win cash prizes.

type of player The description
Casual Players who play for leisure and pleasure
half heart Players with a broader than casual range of interests
Hardcore Gamers who spend a lot of time and energy, especially in complex games, and are willing to spend money
Professional Full-time competitive gamers who play games for pay or prize money from esports competitions

“This growth can be attributed to the growing number of affordable mobile games and smartphones catering to the gaming needs of Indians,” says Yash Pariani, Founder and CEO of House of Gaming, an esports company with 1.5 lakh customers. active users on its platform.

According to the report, there was a big increase in screen time – time spent gaming on mobiles, to be precise – when the nationwide lockdown was imposed at the end of March 2020. Prior to the lockdown, users surveyed were switching to average three and a half hours. half an hour of play. This rose to an average of four hours and six minutes in April 2020, and dropped by an hour in June 2020 when things started to open up.

The effect of the pandemic – and the multiple lockdowns that followed across the country – was also felt in the number of games downloaded: from 1.8 billion in the first three months of 2020 to 2.8 billion downloads in the third quarter of the year.

Gaming companies are quickly, literally, taking advantage of this. According to the KPMG report, the average revenue per user stood at Rs 152 in the financial year 2020-21 and is expected to rise to Rs 268 by March 31, 2025.

From in-app purchases to in-game ads, developers have deployed a myriad of monetization models to fill their coffers, as shown in the table below:

Monetization models Operating model Examples
Ad in games free to play Join Clash 3D, Real Cricket
In-app purchases Free game, paid game Teen Patti, Clash of Clans, Free Fire
Multiplayer Free fire, PUBG FAU-G, Indian Air Force
Subscription Freemium, paid Cloud gaming, online adventure games and RPGs
Commission Paid Adda52, Poker Dangal, Dream11, My11circle

BEST GAMES PLAYED BY INDIANS

According to the report, Candy Crush Saga was the most played casual game, while Tambola topped the list of games made in India. Other Indian games like FAU-G (the Aatmanirbhar version of PUBG), Ludo King and World Cricket Championship 2 were among the most downloaded games in their respective genres.

Gender Best games India’s Best Games
Casual Coin Master, Candy Crush Saga Tambola
Plank Ludo King, Carrom Pool Ludo King, Ludo King Club
Multiplayer Free Fire, PUBG FAU-G, Indian Air Force
Sports 8 Ball Pool, eFootball PES 2020 Real Cricket 18, World Cricket Championship 2, Sachin Saga
Casino Teen Patti, Teen Patti Gold Teen Patti, Teen Patti Gold

Indian game studios like Gametion, Reliance Games and JetSynthesis have gotten in on the action, developing and publishing games tailored to the Indian gamer. The games released by these studios are as varied as possible, in terms of genre: Ludo King, Sachin Sage Cricket Championship, WWE Mayhem, Chhota Bheem Jungle Run, etc.

Company Best games Gender
Gametion King Ludo, King Carrom Plank
Games2Win International Fashion Stylist, Driving Academy 2 Role games
Granting Teen Patti, Tambola, Indian Rummy Casino and card
moon frog Teen Patti Gold, Ludo Club Casino and card
Addiction games WWE Mayhem, Real Steel Boxing Champions Stock
Game Ludo Star, Parcheesi Star Plank
black light game Ludo Superstar Game, Callbreak Superstar Plank
JetSynthesys Sachin Saga Cricket Champions, WWE Racing, Real Cricket Sports
Nazara Technologies Chhota Bheem Jungle Run, Moto Patlu Speed ​​Race Casual

NFTs ARE THE FUTURE OF INDIAN GAMING

Several companies have mushroomed over the past couple of years, looking to capitalize on the intersection of the gaming boom and the rise of Web 3.0. Some of these companies, such as House of Gaming, FanClash, and MetaOneVerse, have incorporated non-fungible cryptocurrencies and tokens into their offerings.

Pariani of House of Gaming said his company offers Hefty Games, which he says is India’s first dedicated NFT marketplace for esports competitors and content creators, and GameGods, a social networking platform that aimed at gamers and Web 3.0 enthusiasts.

“Esports and crypto adoption are the top two consumer trends for Gen Z, with both industries exploding globally and in India,” says FanClash co-founder Rishabh Bhansali. Bhansali claims his company allows esports players to earn cryptocurrency while participating in tournaments.

“Globally, fans are spending over 10 hours a week watching and playing esports, with no way to further engage or monetize all that passion. FanClash provides a platform that empowers esports viewers to actively engage with the world. run tournaments and earn crypto,” he adds.

Abhay Sharma, CMO, of MetaOneVerse, says the gaming industry surpassed movies and sports combined last year, in terms of revenue. He expects blockchain-based games to grow by 30-40% over the next few years. MetaOneVerse launched the M1Verse token about a month ago and is rolling it out in the blockchain-based games they are developing.

“We are developing play-to-earn games, which will be blockchain-based. Any user who holds M1verse tokens will be able to play and earn NFTs, which a player can use to upgrade their game-based avatar,” he said.

Sharma claims that they currently have over 2,000 token holders and expect to cross paths with 1 lakh users within a year.

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