The New Indian Gold Mine – Online Gaming!


The Millennium sprouted online gaming in India when console and PC gaming enabled Indians to get on the digital gaming platform. Games such as Call Of Duty, FIFA, Counter Strike and DOTA began attracting Indian customers who had a PC and an Internet connection. At this stage the Indian ecosystem was mainly a service provider for these internationally developed games.

Then came the social media platforms that further opened up the gaming market to a larger Indian audience. The final wave that took the online gaming market to where it is today is the smartphone revolution. The revolution coupled with the rise in Internet penetration enabled the Indian ecosystem to tap into the volume game and begin local development.

With a background of such developments and with India being the second most populated nation, the online gaming industry is predicted to reach USD 1 billion mark by 2021 with a user base of 310 million online gamers. The other enabling factors are:

  • The rise in the <35 years age group by 63%
  • A 1.8x expansion in internet users
  • Increase in digital payment user base
  • New technologies at affordable rates
  • Increase in local developer base

90% of online gamers use smartphones and tablets, reasons being large screen experiences with low cost mobile phones, increased compatibility of games with mobile screens and most importantly the mobility factor that comes with a smart phone.

Another emerging segment in the online gaming industry is the Real Money Games (RMG) sector. This sector offers games like rummy, poker, fantasy sports etc. Companies in the RMG sector use a subscription based model where they act as the online aggregator with customers paying a fixed fee to play their game. Transactions are done in INR using credit or debit cards linked to customers PAN and AADHAR cards.

RMG enables gamers to sit in the comfort of their homes and play these games and win real money. If you can spend your weekend earning a few extra bucks, why not! It sure is catching on with the millennial, providing them an additional revenue stream.

Poker, one of the games in this sector, is growing in popularity. There are both internationally developed platforms and local platforms that provide poker players a great opportunity in the Indian subcontinent. Numbers don’t lie, sources state users in this segment are growing at an average of 50% a year and revenues of most leading companies in the segment are growing at an average of 30% every year. Poker mobile apps are designed to play poker ‘on the go’ and aid the lifestyle of the modern dynamic active user for whom it is important to make the most efficient use time.  No other applications have such a high involvement of users. Developers do not just introduce technologies but also constantly continue to improve the user experience giving gamers the maximum convenience that they need.

So well if you thought twiddling your thumbs on an application is a waste of time, time to reconsider. The clock’s ticking, download a poker app and get those hands rolling!

Article and data source: ‘Online gaming in India reaching a new pinnacle’, a study by KMPG in India and Google, May 2017