India’s rapid economic development is hardly news after years of steady growth, but the trends that pop up as investors identify the emerging opportunities in the country’s rapidly shifting marketplace are always noteworthy. A recent development worth paying attention to is the boom in the country’s mobile gaming market, which now has over 250 players developing apps in all areas of gaming, from RPGs, racing games, and shooters to traditional games of chance. Online casinos in India are jumping at the opportunity too, providing a digital gaming experience for mobile devices that is as immersive and feature-rich as the web interfaces that digital casinos have cultivated over the past couple of decades. There are some clear reasons why this gaming revolution is underway, and they could also indicate other economic trends that investors can identify early as opportunities.
1. The Middle Class Is Growing
India has a population roughly three times greater than the United States. It’s hard to pinpoint because the number of people in either country is fluctuating from day to day, but it’s a close ratio. Traditionally, the country’s middle class has been proportionally smaller than that of the United States, though, and during times of economic hardship over the past half-century, it has occasionally been smaller in raw numbers. Those days are long past, though. Growth over the past 20 years has created an increasingly larger middle class of skilled professionals who command wages that provide themselves and their families with disposable income. This income finds its way into a variety of entertainment markets, including mobile gaming.
2. Smartphone Adoption Is Widespread
The smartphone market in India is projected to be above 530 million phones by the end of 2019, and the mobile gaming market is projected to reach more than 628 million users by the end of 2020 between phones and tablet gaming. That means that even though the middle class is developing and doing so quickly, technological adoption has spread even further faster. In some areas of the country, mobile internet is the primary accessible means of obtaining a private data connection of one’s own, and that also makes the gaming market proportionally larger in this country than in many others. Whether you are looking at adoption percentages or raw numbers, that’s a lot of business for game companies.
3. Diverse Programming in the Game Market
With over 250 operating game design studios contributing titles to the market, India’s gaming community is incredibly diverse. From companies popularizing Japanese-style gacha games to the localization and re-release of popular international titles, there are a lot of games available in-country that look like popular games emerging in hot new genres all over the world. There are also retro gaming enthusiasts in large numbers fueling pixel-based throwbacks and classic title re-releases. Most notably, the game market even caters to those outside the traditional scope of video game culture. There are online board games in droves, and when it comes to digital gambling access in the country, nearly all casinos are mobile friendly.
4. Chinese Investment
India’s market has been drawing Chinese investors, which has provided a big influx of financing options for new players in game development. There are also successful Chinese firms like Alibaba that are backing releases they own in-country, and both of those pushes are making the rapid development of the mobile gaming industry easier for Indian game makers.
5. Growing Interoperability
The last reason why the mobile gaming market is growing so fast in India is the same reason it has grown in many other countries, and that is increased interoperability. With the new macOS supporting iPad apps, mobile gaming on a desktop or laptop is now possible. Add to that, devices that run Android apps in unconventional ways like Amazon’s Fire TV and you have more and more places where mobile gaming can be played, making it even easier for more people to connect. The more devices you can game on, the more people will find a comfortable way to join the fun.