As India prepares to gradually open up the economy after 2 months of Lockdown, the people stranded at their home in the meantime have moved towards online gaming. Ever since the Lockdown 1.0 was announced, several gaming platforms and apps witnessed a surge of players and saw a 21% growth in user engagement.
According to a report by Investment firm Maple Capital Advisors titled – “Gaming – India Story”, the Indian gaming industry is currently valued at $930 million and is expected to be valued at $ 3,750 million by 2024 with an annual growth of 41%.
The report also found that between the weeks of Feb 10-16, 2020, and March 16-22, 2020, visits to online gaming websites or apps increased by 24 %, and engagement, as measured by time spent on gaming sites or apps, increased by 21% during the same time period.
According to Pankaj Karna, Managing Director at Maple Capital Advisors:
“Gaming is at an influx-stage in India and with a rapid rise in content consumption, investments are likely to accelerate. We have seen growing investment traction in gaming with over USD 350 million of investments. With growing internet penetration, compelling economics, usage statistics and increasing ecosystem of entrepreneurs and developers focusing on this space we expect good growth in investments which are likely to at least double in this space in the next 1-2 years,”
At present, there are over 400 gaming startups in India and with more than 500 million smartphone users as of December 2019, the mobile gaming leads with an 85% share of online gaming in India. The trend suggests that the Indian gaming scene is more multiplayer-focused and an increase in multiplayer games like Teen Patti, PUBG, and FreeFire has helped in padding those growth numbers.
The report also notes that fantasy gaming apps like Dream11 have taken a major hit due to the suspension of IPL and other leagues. However, the report also suggests fantasy gaming and sports apps are likely to pick up after the lockdown and probably will attract more gamers.