A fast-growing market, rise in paying users and an all-time high reach and engagement rate has put the gaming industry in India on a fast growth trajectory. The gaming market in India hit $2.6 billion in FY22 and is projected to reach $8.6 billion in FY27 growing at a CAGR of 27%.
Lumikai, the country’s first gaming and interactive media fund released a report at the India Game Developers Conference today in Hyderabad that says the gaming industry growth is expected to be fueled by a rapidly increasing gamer base, higher conversion to paid users and increasing sophistication of the Indian gamer.
As per the report, RMG (real money games) revenue constitutes 57 percent of current market but future growth in IAP (in app purchases) revenues, particularly in midcore games, are forecasted to grow faster at a CAGR of 34 percent in FY22.
A young population with growing gaming-ready smartphone ownership and access to cheap data has led to sustained growth in gaming usage. With 15 billion downloads, India was the largest consumer of mobile games in the world in FY22. India’s gamer population in FY22 was 507 million, up from 450 million the year before, growing at 12 percent CAGR.
Turns out the number of paying users too are up. Currently there are 120 million paying gamers in the country, growing at 25 percent CAGR. With ever increasing demand, naturally, the number of Indian gaming companies also continue to rise. From just 30 plus companies in 2017, the number grew to upwards of 275 in 2019, followed by over 500 companies in 2021 and finally in 2022 there are about 900 plus companies in the sector.
With interest in the sector growing, mergers and acquisitions have also seen steady growth. Indian gaming companies have raised $2.8 billion from domestic and global investors in the last 5 years. The report further says Indian gaming companies are on track to raise $513 million by the end of calendar year 2022. Funding is up 380 percent from 2019 and up 23 percent from 2020. Since 2021, India has seen 3 gaming unicorns (Games 24X7, MPL, Dream11), more than 6 strategic exits and 1 successful IPO (Nazara Technologies).
Coming to gamers in the country, Indian gamers spent an average of 8.5 hours per week on mobile games in FY22. Time spent on top midcore games is approximately double of that of top casual games, with Free Fire leading the pack with average of 109 minutes spent/user/day.
Average revenue per paying user grew 11 percent to $20/year, with 2 million new paying users added per month.
Top mobile Games by average time spent/ user/ day in minutes (2021– 2022) in the casual category were Royal Match, Candy Crush Saga, Coin Master, Ludo King and Carrom Pool. In the midcore category the top choices were Free Fire, BGMI, Genshin Impact, COD: Mobile and Clash of Clans.