Mumbai: India’s $1.8-billion gaming market, while small in global terms, is growing rapidly on the back of mobile-first games, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group and Sequoia on India’s mobile gaming sector.

The report said that more than 300 million people play mobile games in India, and that the gaming market as a whole grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38% in 2019-2020 and 37% the previous fiscal. This means that gaming has been growing faster than social media in India over the past few years. India’s social media market grew by 11% in 2019-20 and 26% the previous fiscal.

The size of the mobile gaming market is estimated at $1.5 billion, or about 86% of the total gaming market, the report said. By contrast, mobile gaming comprises 59% of the gaming market in China and just 28% in the US. Revenues from mobile gaming in India are expected to shoot up to at least $5 billion by 2025, it said.

As for funding, India’s gaming startups raised $549 billion in the first quarter of 2021, more than the $412 billion they raised in all of 2020. For comparison, gaming startups raised just $34 million in 2016.

India’s gaming market is still tiny in absolute numbers, however, comprising just 1% of the global market. The US gaming market is worth more than $40 billion, or 23% of the global market, while China’s is worth more than $45 billion -- 26% of the global market. As would be expected from bigger markets, their growth rates are relatively modest, with China clocking CAGR of 8% from 2017 to 2020 and the US gaming market growing at 10% CAGR over this period.

Even though mobile gaming already comprises 86% of India’s gaming market, there’s still plenty of room to grow, the report said. In 2020, only 46% of Indians were connected to the Internet, compared with 60% in China and 89% in the US. Also, only 22% of the population had played at least one mobile game as of 2020, compared with 45% in China and 52% in the US.


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But most importantly, India’s mobile gamers spent far less than their Chinese and American peers. The average mobile gamer spends just $3-10 on games in a year. The average mobile gamer in China meanwhile spends $57-66 a year, while the average US mobile gamer spends $73-77 a year.


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