Digital gaming has always been extremely popular in India. However, its reach has been limited, as the entry cost and lack of portability of media such as desktops and consoles kept gamers away from digital games.
All this changed with mobile gaming as smartphones and tablets put a gaming device in every hand, making digital games much more accessible to people. In fact, a recent Newzoo report suggests that the number of smartphone and tablet gamers in the country are estimated to grow from 141.8 Mn in 2013 to 267.4 Mn in 2016, a CAGR of 23%.
Furthermore, as gaming-friendly smartphones became available across all prices ranges and connectivity improved, a variety of mobile games which could run on different mobile hardware and software platforms also became accessible for mobile gamers. This has made mobile gaming immensely popular among people irrespective of their demographic. So much so that, close to 20% of all mobile gamers in the country today pay for the games they download.
Games such as Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, Teen Patti – Indian Poker, Pirate Kings have been among the top grossing games on both Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store in India, according to App Annie. In fact, the Newzoo report puts the mobile gaming market revenue in India at USD 571.7 Mn in 2016.
In 2013, this figure was pegged at USD 44.3 Mn. It is estimated that just in 2014, this revenue grew by over 132% CAGR, which was much higher than the global growth figure of 38.9%. Therefore, there is a big opportunity for mobile game developers in India, waiting to be tapped.
However, while focusing on this market, developers must also look at offering localized gaming experiences. For instance, popular mobile game Subway Surfers recently introduced a Mumbai gameplay in their game which saw a great response from the local gaming population. Even the App Annie estimates suggest that Teen Patti – Indian Poker is grossing higher than Zynga Poker – Texas Hold'em Poker.
Therefore if you're a game developer looking to play and win in the growing mobile gaming economy, India is your next big playfield.