With a strong 1.3 billion populace, 2/3rd of which is below the age of 35 and the world’s largest youth population; India is poised to become one of the world’s leading markets in all aspects. While gaming is considered as one of the pillars of the internet economy, India hasn’t achieved its full potential owing to the lack of access to gaming consoles, PCs and good internet connectivity. Finally, after a long wait, in 2015 with the mobile gaming industry gaining strong footing in India, the society is finally embracing digital content and entertainment like never before, enabled by the explosive growth of inexpensive smart phones and affordable wireless internet.
According to a FICCI-KPMG report, the Indian gaming industry has grown from Rs 1,000 crore in 2010 to Rs 2,650 crore in 2015. This is projected to grow to Rs 3,080 crore by 2016-end and further to Rs 5,070 crore by the end of December 2020.
Reliance, a major player in the industry is not only looking to invest in various gaming startups across the country, but it’s reliable 4th generation high speed internet service Jio has become an instant rage, a wonderful news for gaming developers and players alike. Additionally, with India set to become the 2nd biggest smart phone market in the world, the market is at a turning point and clubbed with the rapid connectivity speed from Jio, there is a green-field for game developers and investors. A few years ago, there were just about a handful of gaming startups, now there are scores.
How did this radical change come about?
In spite of India being a money-savvy society, people are still disinclined to pay for mobile games, regardless of cheap gaming rates and mobile internet plans. Users who use Jio internet are not as data conscious and price sensitive as users who consume data from other service providers. The reason? Jio’s extremely competitive pricing along with its high speed data offering. Consequently, gaming apps are seeing much higher retention leading to higher and longer engagement not only in Tier I, but in Tier II and Tier III cities as well.
The Indian gaming industry which was seeing a massive crunch a while ago, will surely benefit from Jio’s rising penetration. Players will not only engage more in online games but will also adopt higher quality gaming apps with larger file size . Currently users prefer gaming apps of size <50mb , but after the Jio infiltration, there will be a change in this behavioral pattern. For startups that are heavy on higher quality gaming apps with size >200mb, this is a wonderful news.
This will also offer huge prospect to game developers who can now invest more on building better quality apps with higher resolution just the way they want. At present, more than 40% of active users on gaming apps use Jio, thanks to its high-speed connectivity and this number is expected to rise soon.
Again, thanks to sturdy data connectivity from Jio although India is still an emerging game development hub, talent is immense and the startup ecosystem is building at a rapid pace adding lakhs of professionals to the gaming industry each year.