Online gaming industry is growing at a CAGR of 22% according to a report released by boutique investment bank Maple Capital Advisors titled ‘Gaming – India Story’. The report claims that the Indian Gaming Industry is expected to grow 41% annually due to the growth of digital infrastructure and substantial rise in quality and engaging gaming content. By 2024, the gaming industry in India is set to be valued at $3,750 million. India’s online gaming industry has already attracted $350 million in investments from venture capital firms between 2014-2020. India is the second largest market worldwide for app downloads. “With growing internet penetration, compelling economics, usage statistics and increasing ecosystem of entrepreneurs and developers focusing on this space we expect good growth in investments which are likely to at least double in this space in the next 1-2 years,” Pankaj Karna, managing director, Maple Capital Advisors, said.
At present, there are over 400 gaming startups in India and with more than 500 million smartphone users as of December 2019, mobile gaming has taken the lead by tapping 85% share of online gaming in India. Thus it is pretty evident that several gaming developers are going to capitalise on the increasing number of smartphone users. The report highlights that the three key segments of online gaming are – Real Money Games (RMG), Mobile-centric/casual games and e-sports.
The fantasy sports landscape in India has witnessed a significant transformation as number of fantasy sports operators have increased by 7x over 2016-2018, whereas the number of users has grown by over 25x from June 2016 to Feb 2019. As for multiplayer games, the platform saw an increase in traction post the onset of PUBG in India. Interestingly, while e-sports has shown strong user growth, it fails to show the same result on profitability. On the other hand, Real Money games have shown substantial growth and profitability and are now showing signs of diversification.
Due to Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown, between the weeks of February 10-16, 2020 and March 16-22, 2020, visits to online gaming websites or apps rose by 24%. Moreover, engagement, as measured by time spent on gaming sites or apps, also increased by 21% during the same time period. Platforms such as Games2Win, WinZo Games, Hitwicket, Gamerji and Rummy recorded a tremendous increase in daily users base as well as time spent. Meanwhile, Dream11, MPL and other fantasy sports gaming platforms faced a dip in revenue as IPL and other live sporting events got cancelled or postponed.