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The Impact Of Gaming In India According to the India Gaming Report 2024, India is the fastest-growing iOS app download mobile gaming market, with 17% of world's user base and over 9.5 billion app downloads. We got further insights of the sector from the panel discussion held at our annual Web3 Summit at Bangalore, India.

By Kavya Pillai

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L-R: Priya Kapoor, Entrepreneur India, Keerti Singh, Hitwicket, Parth Chadha, STAN, Trupti Latur, Jio Games, Sameer Pitalwalla, Google Cloud

According to the India Gaming Report 2024-'Robust Fundamentals To Power Continued Growth', India is the fastest-growing iOS app download mobile gaming market, with 17% of world's user base and over 9.5 billion app downloads. In fact, India's total mobile game downloads exceed the total downloads of the next two markets, US, and Brazil.

In just four years, from 2019 to 2023, game downloads in India soared from 5.65 billion to a staggering 9.5 billion. This growth propelled India's share of global game downloads to a substantial 16% in 2023, followed by Brazil and the US with 4.5 billion (7.6% market share) and 4.4 billion (7.4% market share) downloads, respectively.

Further, the number of Indian gaming companies has grown from 25 in 2015 to over 900 gaming development companies in 2023 indicating continued stronger potential in the sector. In terms of investments, gaming companies in India witnessed a 10X surge between 2018 and 2021. The year 2021 stood out as the most significant year in terms of attracting investments with over USD 1.7 billion in investments. Indian gaming companies have raised close to 3 billion since 2017. The market is set to witness as many as 10 unicorns and 5 decacorns by 2028.

We got further insights on this sector from the panel discussion on "How Indian gaming industry has changed the game", held at our annual Web3 Summit at Bangalore, India. The panelists included Parth Chadha, Founder and CEO of STAN, Sameer Pitalwalla, Head of Gaming, APAC at Google Cloud, Trupti Latur, User Engagement and Communications Lead at Jio Games and Keerti Singh, Co-founder & VP of Growth at Hitwicket. The session was moderated by Priya Kapoor, Features Editor, Entrepreneur India.

Talking about the impact of games in India, Keerti Singh, Co-founder & VP of Growth at Hitwicket shared, "Cricket is India's highest rated cricket game on play store and App Store. We have over 5 million users across 104 countries and our vision is to build the best cricket game out there that can engage the billion cricket fans globally. India boasts a massive, engaged consumer base of 568 million gamers. It is home to approximately 15,000 game developers and programmers. The Indian gaming industry comprises over 1400 gaming companies, including 500 gaming studios. The annual revenue for gaming is projected to reach $6 billion by 2028."

On transition to mobile games the industry has had, Parth Chadha, Founder & CEO, STAN said, "Obviously everybody talks about the games like Ludo, PUBG, Free Fire and all these have, you know, the table toppers. And that has led to being a strong driver. I believe 80% of the gaming audience would be playing on the phone right now. Interestingly, what we have started seeing in STAN, where we have a community of gamers, is people kind of are building trust faster with the product and spending more and repeat purchases is something which is coming up. So it's a golden era for the Indian gaming market."

Pitalwalla shared his observations with an explanation saying, "games have always been for entertainment. And obviously how games are interesting is because it gives the ability of the gamer to engage with the game to the depths that he wants to play. So you can just play a casual board game and, you know, it can just de-stress you for ten minutes and that's your dose of entertainment. Somebody can play COD and immerse himself for an hour or more, and that is entertainment for him. Somebody can take gaming to another level by being an esports player and represent his nation. Gaming allows somebody from five minutes of entertainment to actually maybe two or 3 hours of seriousness, you know, even lending itself to building a career in that way. I would say that gaming has evolved and it has given people the ability to do however they want to engage with it."

According to Singh, India is a consumption market, but we need creators as well, people who are making the PUBG for India. "I think it's very good to see young graduates, engineers, MBAs, they're thinking about building a career in India. Games which can make Indians spend on. So that's where I feel that a big leap has happened, where Indians are getting inspired to build games not just for the indian audience, but for the global audience as well."

When it comes to acquiring the right team to build a game or select the right talent, Latur thinks gaming is a mix of creativity, technology, science and market understanding." She further explained, "I can get someone to buy a bottle from me but can i convince them to make the same purchase virtually. The game needs to be inviting enough. People spend dollars on a virtual experience that they do not have a great individual benefit from when it comes to virtual games."

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