Gaming payment platform Xsolla has released its latest report, “How to Grow Your Game in India”, which analyzes the vast growth of the country’s gaming market in recent years..
In its report, Xsolla says the growth of India’s games industry has been led by a “massive spike” in mobile games.
From 2010 to 2018, the number of gamers in India grew from 10 million to 250 million, with 222 million playing on mobile as their platform of choice in 2017. Additionally, in 2017, mobile gamers accounted for 89% of total revenue of the country’s gaming industry. .
By the end of 2022, the number of mobile gamers in India is expected to reach 368 million, with revenues expected to reach $943 million.
Android is the dominant mobile operating system in the country and accounts for 95% of all phones. To accommodate this, India is home to 3% of all game publishers on Google Play and is responsible for 5% of all games published on the platform.
Xsolla said rising incomes and low desktop ownership have led to higher smartphone penetration in the country, estimated at 859 million in 2022.
With more and more gamers joining every day, the fastest growing genres of mobile games are puzzle, action and adventure games. Fantasy sports and real-money gaming platforms are also growing in popularity, especially casual and localized card games,
A recent partnership between Hashcube and Pllay to create a competitive casual gaming platform aims to combine these growing sectors of the market.
As mobile games dominate India’s gaming market, Xsolla said smartphones are a “cultural entry point into the hobby” and as it remains the dominant platform, developers should consider developing games natively for mobile, then porting them to other platforms.
Xsolla also advises developers to consider the majority of mobile devices in India to be “budget” devices and adapt games to run on low-end devices. Therefore, this puts premium mobile titles at a “disadvantage” and monetization strategies should rely on a higher number of smaller revenues, such as ads or in-game purchases.
Additionally, Xsolla suggests that free-to-play game developers consider implementing a subscription model as the lower cost of a subscription is more attractive for premium titles and provides a “more reliable” revenue stream.
The Indian government recently announced a commitment to fund digital arts, including video games, in its Union Budget 2022, and the country remains one of the most promising new markets for mobile games. The Indian games industry is in its infancy though and Mihir Sanchala of PlayerzPot recently spoke on PocketGamer.biz about the fundamentals of design for the player journey.