24 September 2021 08:03 AM

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GUEST POST | 23 AUGUST, 2021

The Exponential Rise of Indian Digital Gaming Industry: COVID Factor?

How did the pandemic push the growth of online gaming further?


The gaming industry's turnover has increased by roughly 50% since the pandemic lockdown, with national average gaming time spent by players increasing to 4.1 hours post-covid from 2.5 hours pre-covid.According to figures compiled by gaming organizations, the number of real money games has increased dramatically.In the month of May 2020, about 150 million games were downloaded. Since the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the number of real money game (RMG) players aged 35 and over.

Overall, teenagers from second-tier and smaller towns participate in rural regions at a significantly higher rate than those from larger cities, according to the statistics.

Mobile gaming applications exhibited a surge in usage during the first week of a nationwide shutdown, according to a study done during that time. Ludo King, Rummy 13 Cards, and Bubble Shooter were among the most popular applications during the first weeks of the lockdown.

After the lockdown ended in June 2020, both sales and time spent returned to normal, although the new normal was about 15-20% greater than pre-Covid-19 levels.

According to a Deloitte India analysis, the online gaming sector is anticipated to grow at a 40 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $2.8 billion by 2022, up from $1.1 billion in 2019. The fast rise is anticipated to boost the sector's share of the entire media and entertainment business by 45 percent, thanks to smartphones, inexpensive data, and rising disposable income.The study's findings revealed that covid-19 has accelerated growth as users flocked to online gaming platforms in the absence of other entertainment choices during lockdown. During the initial nationwide shutdown, time spent on gaming applications climbed by 21%, with a total customer base of 300 million people.While the delivery of vaccinations and the restart of economic activity may result in a halt or even a decrease in the average time spent on video games, the business would already be in overdrive.

Online games have gained popularity since the COVID-19

According to industry authorities, online gaming has gained momentum since the emergence of COVID-19.People began to rely on internet entertainment, particularly online games, as a result of the lockdown measures that forced them to stay at home and isolate them. During the lockout, the gaming sector in India grew at a CAGR of 21%, they added.

In India, online games already have over 300 million users and are continuously increasing. Industry executives said that skill games, in particular, have offered the competitiveness and thrill that real-life sporting activities offer.According to industry professionals, skill-based games have become increasingly popular in recent years.Mobile devices are commonly used to play online skill games, and India accounts for 13% of the worldwide market.Ludo, carom, and trivia quizzes are some of the most popular online skill games, all of which have their origins in traditional Indian games. They emphasized that winning such games required a certain amount of skill, understanding, and mental application.

“India has a long history of cultural and social games used for recreation and social engagement such as Ludo, Carom, Snakes and Ladders and even Chess. Modern day technology has allowed these games to come alive in their online forms. With necessary changes to their formats that include free to play and pay to play formats these games have become skill predominant thereby reducing elements of luck and chance,” said Rameesh Kailasam, CEO, IndiaTech.org.

“The gaming industry is booming, outpacing the box office and music sectors by a wide amount. With $131 million invested for Indian online gaming platforms in 2020, the market is extremely appealing to investors right now. This figure might be greater if not for the current regulatory and policy framework uncertainty,” Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation.

“A light-touch regulatory framework and a balanced policy ecosystem that encourages innovation and investment are clearly needed. The necessity of the hour is for governments to collaborate and cooperate with the private sector in order to achieve comprehensive growth,” he added.

The remarkable rise in popularity of traditional Indian games

For decades, Indian history has had a major interest in playing games of chance. Traditional games have also seen a tremendous increase in popularity in India in recent years.

It's no wonder that Jhandi Munda is available on a variety of online platforms, given its enormous popularity. When playing online, players get access to a number of benefits not available in the land-based version of the game.

Another famous card game in India is Andar Bahar, which has been a part of social life for decades. Andar Bahar's popularity has skyrocketed lately, thanks to the gamification of traditional Indian games. Following their popularity, a number of additional online platforms have begun to offer Andar Bahar cash games both online and live versions.

Rummy is a well-known card game that has been played for hundreds of years. This fascinating card game has several variations that are regularly played in various areas of the world. Despite fierce competition from online sites, the Rummy business has grown dramatically in recent years.According to statistics from Traffic Analysis, due to the second COVID-19 wave and subsequent lockdowns, search interest for Rummy increased by 90% between March and May 2021.

Overall, gaming has seen amazing development, with traditional Indian games playing a significant role. And, as more desi players migrate to online platforms, the tale will only become better in the near future.

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