India Emerges as Leader in Digital Games

The gaming world is emerging, and it has come a long way from where it started in the early 2000s. India is now confidently heading towards the major milestone of surpassing $1 billion by 2020. With the global gaming industry grossing $108 in 2017, the Indian market has set its mark at $890 and is only expected to push it higher.

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What it shows is an excellent road ahead with new investors and companies keeping an eye on India and is all set to take it to the next level.

The Exciting Opportunity in Games

The gaming world is surely a billion-dollar market attracting the attention of investors, advertisers, marketers and gaming companies alike. We can see $1 trillion market in the making. As per a recent report in India’s Trillion Dollar Digital Opportunity by McKinsey and Co., in 2017, India is only next to China with over 7.7 billion app downloads. Players love their games and enjoy playing them on their mobiles. From rummy game download, to other popular Indian games, localization and quick game play has led to a higher penetration. Of course, pocket friendly internet connectivity has also been an important factor. When we combine both these factors, what we see is, India’s digital adoption growth rate is around 56%, and leads at the second place among the 17 major digital economies of the world.

What the gamers are looking for

There are new gaming technologies like the Virtual Reality and the Augmented Reality along with the regular console games that the gamers are demanding more and more. It is now hard to spot a game that doesn’t incorporate these elements. The games today are rich in visuals, add an additional layer of intense gameplay and also add to the visual experience of the game. The excitement around Augmented Reality in India, was first seen in 2016 when Pokémon GO grabbed the attention of everyone.  What it showcased was the big opportunity that was right in front of them. All they had to do is tap into it and take gaming to the next level. It is no surprise that mobile gamers are all ready to grow to 628 million on multiple handheld devices by 2020.

What makes India the next big gaming giant

From over 15 million PC and console gamers in the country and nearly two million eSports gamers and close to 1000 professional gamers as well, India is on the fast road to becoming a gaming giant. There is of course budget friendly internet connection that is a boom for the Indian consumer. This has also led to smartphone penetration into the smaller cities of the country, giving a bigger reach for the games.

Another thing that has led to the growth of gaming sector in India, is the eSports. This is one segment that opens up gaming for professional gamers and is creating new avenues for monetization in gaming. Gamers here can compete and participate in games on a competitive level and on a professional level, while millions of users watch the teams battle it out in the gaming space.

This has not only increased the popularity of eSports but gaming companies are now actively looking to identify talented gamers that have excellent skill at such games. Of course, just like our regular games, eSports also requires practice, training, team balance and communication.

Social Media and Games

Another aspect that has grown significantly over the last two years, is the ability to stream games on YouTube or Twitch and then post the scores and statistics on different social media platforms. This resulted in improved confidence in game play and millions enjoying the thrill of watching professional gamers on their screens. Now players watch video tutorials of popular games like rummy game, poker etc. and get started with these games instantly. Some of these games also offer real cash prizes, making the players focus more on the game play and strategy.

On the whole, the comfort level around games has improved, the ability to earn more from games has also been accepted more readily and gamers are comfortable to take gaming as a career. With over two million eSports viewers in India, this figure is expected to grow over 5 times by 2021.

What we can expect now

There is now a new found focus on the local development of games. The user base has increased largely and there is also a potential for further monetization that acts as an opportunity to take digital games to a completely new level. Alongside, there are new courses that have come up with the increasing popularity of gaming in India. Yes, gaming has come a long way from been hidden away, and the road ahead is fun, challenging and filled with new expectations.


The gaming industry has not only emerged as a career option for professional gamers, but also for global companies taking an interest in the Indian market. Localization continues to be the leader in games today. Indian audience connect and relate to games having a local connect. In the coming years, this digital space of games is going to be among the high profit making businesses of the country.

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