In spring last year Indian cricket legend Rohit Sharma announced that his company, digital advertiser POKKT, was working with mobile game developers to enrich the experience of players. Not only did it underline India’s love of cricket-based apps – which would be POKKT’s immediate focus – but it showed just how critical mobile gameplay had become to brand recognition and marketing strategy.
Smartphone gaming in India is a huge market. Driven by Gen Z, the popularity of mobile gaming continues to rise with internationally renowned titles like PUBG and Call of Duty joining regional favorites like 8 Ball Pool, Stick Cricket, and Ludo King as some of the country’s most-played titles. It is estimated, according to a report by Google-KPMG, that the online gaming market will reach 310 million players next year and surpass $1 billion in revenue.
Gaming in India is increasingly focused on mobile devices because the smartphone plays such an important role in the lives of those in key target markets such as Gen Z and Millennials. Indeed, according to data, 95% of Gen Z own a smartphone. India has now taken over the USA for smartphone use with CounterpointResearch.com reporting a 7% year-on-year growth in 2019 making the market the second largest in the world behind China.
India’s love of smartphone gaming has been boosted by the availability of some of the world’s top-selling devices. The ASUS ROG Phone 2, Black Shark 2 and Nubia Red Magic 3S are all enjoying strong sales with players enjoying low latency, air triggers that recall console controllers and screens boasting high refresh rates. According to TechRadar.com these are three of the best for games.
Convenience and choice
Mobile is also convenient because it’s easy for the user to switch to a wide variety of other uses with access to social media, news portals, online video and the capability to take photos.
In addition, the market has been boosted by the quality and range of games available. Mobile versions of PUBG and Call of Duty have brought traditional console favorites to smartphones while the likes of Asphalt 9: Legends, The Elder Scrolls: Blades and Bright Memory showcase graphics once only possible on high-powered PCs.
Sports games are particularly favored in India, especially cricket. Far more popular than its recognized national sport of field hockey, cricket’s status in the country has seen stars become legendary figures, the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid championed like gods. Its board – the BCCI – is the world’s richest and it oversees the most lucrative tournament in the world – the Indian Premier League.
And, unsurprisingly, as BettingGuru.in reveals, competitions like the IPL, Ranji Trophy, Karnataka Premier League and Tamil Nadu Premier League are some of the nation’s most popular to bet on. It’s why games like Real Cricket 20, World Cricket Championship 2 and World of Cricket: World Cup 2019 have joined the likes of PUBG as some of India’s top mobile games.
A mobile-first economy
India’s mobile-first economy is the backdrop to the gaming craze amongst its smartphone users. And the prevalence of capable hardware and the ever-evolving development of new and better mobile games is ensuring the market is thriving. Amidst this, there’s genuine enthusiasm for the medium; the fuel that’s seen India become the second-biggest smartphone market on earth.