Interactive gaming has overtaken the digital world with the increased market penetration of smart phones. The widespread use of internet has helped significantly in the exponential rise of digital gaming market. Digital media has achieved various milestones in the last decade and the digital gaming industry is at a juncture where various established players as well as nascent companies are expanding their reach into regions with untapped market, and India being one them.
Online gaming has come a long way from console based or video game industry in the past decade. Digital gaming is a vast platform with various broad categories, such as mobile gaming, social media based gaming, Personal Computer (PC) based gaming, Console based gaming, and Massive Multiplayer Online based (MMO). Except console based gaming, all the mentioned categories fall under the concept of skill based gaming. By definition, games such as fantasy sports, eSports, strategy games, brain games, and arcade games, where players compete against each other, and not the computer, fall under the category of skill based games.
Globally, India lags behind in the global games of skill market, however, it is emerging as a potential market for industry stakeholders, who are leaning towards this region. There is a prevalence of traditional card based games in the country, and along with it an inclination towards sports, especially cricket and football. The proliferation of smartphones in the market has been exponential, which has fuelled the market as well as people’s interest in games of skill. However, the market has certain constraints to overcome, such as continuous requirement of compelling gaming ideas and innovations, paucity of information, and large rural population.
Card based games are the most popular in India followed by strategy, brain, arcade games, and fantasy sports in order, as well as in terms of revenue generation. eSports are expected to increase their share of revenue generation in the market by 2017, with the launch of Indian Gaming League, partnerships between NODWIN and Electronic Sports League (ESL) and other similar events. The Indian Game of Skills market is expected to reach over $3.6 billion by 2022, growing at a robust CAGR through 2015 to 2022.
Poker and Rummy are the most widely played skill based game in India, however, there is an ambiguity in the legal scenario regarding such games, and with a population of 1.3 billion, the country has a registered user base of approx. 15 million users for card based games. Furthermore, despite having a huge fan base for cricket in the country, the revenue generation from fantasy cricket is still insignificant on a global scale. The major drawback here is that the two-third of the population comes under the rural bracket, which has very limited access to internet and lack of awareness and understanding regarding fantasy sports.
Social media has attracted an immense user base for games, such as Zynga Poker, which do not involve money, but generate revenue through in-app purchases for virtual goods and advertisement services. Such strategy games and brain games, including Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Zynga’s Words with Friends, are anticipated to dominate the skill based gaming market. The market is being driven by the exponential growth in mobile gaming market in the country. The competition is tough in the market, with cards based games and mobile based games competing neck and neck. Players from various industry verticals are involved in this market ranging from game developers and infrastructure providers, advertisement companies and distributors.
BIS Research has compiled an extensive market research report on ‘The Indian Games of Skill Market Analysis and Forecast, 2016-2022’. The market analysis report provides an in-depth analysis of the key development strategies, marketing strategies and market trend dynamics which includes drivers, restraints and opportunities prevailing in the industry.
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