Internet & Technology

Future of Gaming in India: Market Trends

Future of Gaming in India

The gaming industry in India has made a remarkable transformation in iGaming in the year 2023; however, India’s gaming sector has grown at a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% and reached Rs 164.28 billion in 2023. India is one of the fastest-growing gaming markets and presents a fertile ground for growth and innovation in the gaming industry.

The population of tech-savvy youth, emerging 5G network connectivity, and a rising population of India with disposable income have evolved the Gaming system in India. It also witnessed investments of Rs 229.31 billion between 2020 and 2024 from domestic and international sources, and gaming startups reached $349 million in 2023. India also overtakes China as the world’s top user base in mobile gaming.

Moreover, in 2023, the world increased Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.74% between 2023 and 2027 to reach $467 billion in 2027 in the gaming sector. There are 3.09 billion active video players worldwide, expected to increase to 3.32 billion in 2024. Despite the ambitious vision of an expansive digital realm, the metaverse concept has faced setbacks. Still, the tech giants may have overreached in their attempts to convert the real world digitally to achieve growth in the gaming industry.

Nationwide Overview of Gaming Industry

The gaming industry in India has transformed in recent years, fueled by advanced technology and the rapid expansion of digital infrastructure. The rise of internet connectivity from 2G to 5G and the high-bandwidth network range has increased the number of internet users from 7.7% in 2021 to 66% of the world’s population.

The gaming market is dominated by key players such as Microsoft, Sony, etc. In recent years, the industry has witnessed high growth due to various factors, including the increase in mobile gaming and the increased adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality technology, cloud gaming, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.

India’s Gaming Industry Overtook China and the US

In 2024, the market of video games is forecasted to reach a revenue of $282.30 billion and $363.20 billion by 2027. Also, mobile gaming has become a force behind the growth of the global video gaming market. The US is one of the largest video game markets nationwide, reaching a revenue of around $41.7 billion in 2022. In China, growth has been forecasted to reach $66.13 billion in 2024 to $95.51 billion by 2029, with a CAGR of 7.63%. China has the most active population of women in the gaming sector.

In India, the Government has authorised foreign Direct Investment at 100% in the gaming industry by the automatic route and the amendment in IT rule, 2021, which has been the most significant step for the startups in the gaming sector to attract investors without any restriction from the world. The online gaming or iGaming sector will reach Rs 231 billion by 2025. It is expected to grow 20% of CAGR, surpassing the US and China in the upcoming year in the gaming sector, which will significantly impact the future of gaming in India.

What Drives the Future Pace of Gaming in India?

The future pace of gaming in India is driven by a combination of trends, technological advancement, the introduction of artificial intelligence, development, government support, and global integration to contribute to the growth of the gaming sector.

Moreover, the emergence of a tech-savvy population has fueled the demand for gaming, and the rise of esports culture has contributed to gaming monetisation in India. The gaming industry market size is estimated at $272.86 billion in 2024 and is predicted to reach $426.02 billion by 2029, with a CAGR of 9.32% between 2024 and 2029.

Additionally, the growing investment in game development and the rise of gaming as a form of social interaction reshaped the industry because a growing number of Indians are now turning to casual games for entertainment, accessing powerful gaming devices, and improving internet connectivity with the emerging affordable 5G network plan in India.

One of the highest trends started in 2023 with the acceptance of cloud gaming. This streamlined technology allows games and gaming creators to play games by storing them on remote servers. According to the report, by 2027, the global cloud gaming market will reach $18.70 billion in the gaming sector.

Who are the Key Major Players in the Gaming Industry?

The gaming industry boosts several significant players who influence its direction and evolution to maintain the future of gaming in India. Some of the key players are stated below:

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1. Sony: Supreme for PlayStations

Sony is an essential player in the gaming industry. It is known for its PlayStation series, which has a massive global following and is PlayStation’s leading player in the market. Also, Sony has invested around $2 billion in Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite.

2. Microsoft: Large Spender

 Microsoft gaming division is best known for the Xbox brand. Microsoft operates Xbox Live, a subscription-based online gaming service that offers many games. The company has been expanding in the gaming industry through the acquisition by the American behemoth Software in 2022 and initiatives like cloud gaming.

3. Nintendo: In-house Games

Nintendo is synonymous with iconic gaming franchises like Mario, Zelda and Pokémon. The company’s initiative to gaming hardware, such as switch consoles, has achieved widespread success and has reached more than 100 million from 2017.

4. Activision Blizzard: Biggest Buyout in Video Games

Activism Blizzard is a leading publisher and developer of video games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. The company has a strong presence in both PC and console gaming markets. Microsoft has proposed the biggest acquisition of Activism Blizzard in history for video games.

5. Tencent Holdings: Biggest Player in Revenue

Tencent Holding of China is the biggest player in terms of revenue in the gaming industry. The company invests in gaming studios worldwide and holds stakes in various gaming companies and platforms.

India a Gaming Giant to Shape the Future of Gaming in India

India’s journey towards becoming a gaming giant involves various paths that leverage its strength and address key challenges within the gaming sector to shape the future of gaming in India. Below are some paths India must follow to become a gaming giant.

1. Development of Infrastructure

India’s transformation into a gaming powerhouse required infrastructure development, which improved internet connectivity and investment in data centres to maintain the future of gaming in India.

2. Support for Developers

Numerous talented developers in India have created innovative games to support the growth of the gaming industry. The Government and stakeholders have procured funding and exposure opportunities to contribute to gaming development by finding developers and gaming companies.

3. Policies and Laws

The policies and laws are essential steps to foster a favourable environment for the gaming industry in terms of game development, distribution, and monetisation. They address concerns such as taxation policy, censorship, and intellectual property rights and attract investment to encourage innovation and the future of gaming in India.

4. Promotion of Esports

Esports have emerged as an essential aspect of the gaming industry’s growth globally. By supporting esports infrastructure, organising, and providing professional opportunities for players, the players can elevate India’s position in the global esports framework while promoting gaming as a career opportunity for the future of gaming in India.

5. Expansion of Market

India’s gaming industry has not only grown domestically but has also experienced tremendous growth in international markets by creating games globally, participating in international gaming events, and partnering with foreign gaming studios and developers to facilitate market expansion and maintain the future of gaming in India.

Trends that Will Shape the Future of Gaming in India’s Esports and Gaming Sector

The gaming and esports sectors have experienced rapid expansion and are poised for continuous growth in the upcoming years. India anticipates an increase in online gaming users, projected to rise from Rs 452 billion in 2022 to Rs 657 million by 2025 due to the emergence of advanced technologies, ongoing innovations, and other factors. The gaming industry forecasted growth in esports revenue, expected to climb from $3.8 billion in 2023 to $5.7 billion by 2028. Below are several key trends expected to shape the future of gaming in India’s esports and gaming sector:

1.    Increase in Mobile Gaming

India is among the top countries in mobile gaming nationwide. Mobile gaming is driven by the affordable internet connectivity plans of 5G and the popularity of mobile games such as PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, Call of Duty, etc.

2.    Growth of Esports

Exports have witnessed growth in India due to emerging technologies, an increase in internet connectivity, the rise of professional gaming leagues, etc., which has attracted investments from investors and organisations to elevate the growth of esports in India.

3.    Combination of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies have gained power in the gaming sector, offering interactive experiences to players. However, India’s adoption of VR and AR technologies remains low due to the accessibility and advancements in their hardware, but the developers are exploring innovative VR and AR elements.

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4.    Merging of Gaming and Education

Gaming is integrated with education programs and learning platforms to attract students and provide them with interactive learning. As gaming gains power in the education sector, it presents new opportunities for tech companies to innovate and collaborate with educators.

Artificial Intelligence: The Pinnacle Term in the Gaming Industry

AI is the pinnacle in the gaming industry, revolutionising every facet of game development, gameplay, storytelling, and player experience. AI algorithms and technologies have created a new immersive and intelligent gaming era. Game development has been made, and AI plays an essential role in creating a dynamic environment and responsive gameplay mechanism.

The iGaming has changed due to the pace of innovations and advanced technology. The integration of AI and Virtual reality technology is composed to reshape the landscape of online gaming to offer players an unparalleled immersive experience for the AI to enhance the gameplay.

AI has transformed the gaming framework in game development and player experience. It’s become an integral part of the gaming system, influencing everything from gameplay to non-player Character behaviour to make it more realistic. The impact of AI on video games has impacted the gaming industry, allowing developers to create more remarkable experiences.

Does the Metaverse Contribute to the Future of the Gaming in India?

The metaverse will achieve remarkable growth and hold the potential to generate trillions of revenues by 2030. A virtual shared space created by the convergence of virtual reality, augmented reality, and the internet, the metaverse offers a platform for immersive gaming experiences, social interactions, and creative expressions.

When we played Fortnite in the past, did we ever think that the game would take place in the metaverse? No, but now it is happening. The metaverse has enhanced the gaming environment, allowing players to explore a virtual world, interact with other players, and engage in a wide range of gaming activities. One of the key aspects of the metaverse is its emphasis on social interaction, and players can connect with other people in the country quickly.

The metaverse also empowers players to express creativity and imagination through user-generated content and virtual experiences. It allows players or developers to design their games to experience gaming and virtual reality innovation.

Blockchain & Crypto Currency: The Gaming Industry’s Future

Blockchain and cryptocurrency are composed to revolutionise the gaming industry and offer new opportunities for innovation, monetisation, and player empowerment, which has opened a range of benefits to shape the future of the gaming industry. Below are some of the benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrency:

1.    Decentralised Ownership

Blockchain technology enables decentralised ownership of in-game assets through the use of NFTs, helping the player own digital assets, including in-game items and virtual real estate, and verifying the owners on the blockchains.

2.    Play to Earn Model

The cryptocurrency enables the new play-to-earn model, in which players can earn rewards and incentives for their participation in games by completing tasks or contributing to the game, which helps the player worldwide.

3.    Enhanced Security

Blockchain technology provides enhanced security for gaming transactions by recording transactions on a decentralised platform; the blockchain ensures the integrity of the game transactions to prevent fraud and unauthorised modification.

AR and VR’s Impact to Shape the Future of Gaming in India

The VR gaming revenue is raised from $ 0.5 billion in 2019 to $ 3.2 billion in 2024 at the increased rate of CAGR of 44% in 2024. The impact of augmented reality and virtual reality in the future of gaming in India is gaining transformation, reshaping how gamers interact with the virtual environment in India. AR and VR technologies have gained traction in the gaming industry due to increasing smartphones, advanced hardware capabilities and growing interest among developers and players.

With AR technologies, gamers can overlay digital content onto the real world and create interactive experiences that blend virtual elements with physical surroundings. The players can interact with virtual objects in real time and enhance the gameplay experiences. Game developers are integrating AR and VR features to offer innovative experiences in education, training and entertainment to shape the future of gaming in India. 

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Challenges Affecting the Future of the Gaming in India

Following substantial growth in the gaming industry, several challenges may affect the future of gaming in India. Still, if the industry performs a gaming industry audit, it can minimise the challenges. Some of the key challenges are stated below:

1.    Obstacles in the Regulatory Framework

The regulatory framework for gaming in India is still evolving, leading to ambiguity for developers and investors in issues such as taxation and compliance with regulation. That’s why there is a requirement to conduct a compliance audit to maintain proper compliance with the regulatory framework and to keep the gaming industry updated with the latest regulations and consistent regulations to foster a conducive environment for growth.

2.    Limits in the Monetary Level

There is a monetary limit for developers, which compromises the quality of the games and affects the competitiveness of the gaming industry. Due to the low willingness to pay among players, there is a requirement for a deep understanding of the spending limits and attracting investors by complying with the latest regulations.

3.    Lack of Talent Retention

Despite the growing demand for skilled professionals in the gaming industry, India faced a shortage of trained talent in game development, design and programming. Investing in education and skill development initiatives to build a skilled workforce is essential for long-term growth.

What are the Government Initiatives to maintain the Future of Gaming in India?  

In India, the Government has authorised foreign Direct Investment at 100% in the gaming industry by the automatic route and the amendment in the Information Technology rule, 2021, which has been the biggest step for the startups in the gaming sector to attract investors without any restriction from the worldwide. Also, the Government of India is establishing a National Centre of Excellence for Animation in collaboration with IIT Bombay in 2021. Also, the Telangana and Karnataka governments have taken the initiative to launch a policy for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, Comics and Extended Reality (AVGC) to assist in the growth of the gaming sector until 2029.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the future of gaming in India is driven by technological advancement, evolving consumer preferences, and government support with a growing population of tech-savvy youth, increasing investment and booming esports culture. India is soon going to become a global powerhouse in the gaming sector. The initiatives of advanced technologies and strategies to support the gaming industry are set to shape the future of gaming in India at national and international levels.  

FAQs

  1. What is the forecasted future of the gaming industry?

    Technologies like AR, VR, metaverse, blockchain, cryptocurrency and other advanced technologies will reach new heights and generate the highest revenue.

  2. Will India overtake China, the US, and Germany in the gaming sector?

    Yes, India can overtake China, the US and Germany in the Gaming sector.

  3. What will the future of India's gaming sector be like in 2030?

    Reports have forecasted that India will reach new heights with a surge in revenue from billions to trillions.

  4. How big is the Indian gaming market going to get?

    The gaming sector has achieved a CAGR of 28% in 2023 and is expected to attract investment from national and foreign sources.

  5. Who is the father of Video Games?

    Ralph Baer is the father of video games.

  6. What are the emerging trends shaping the gaming framework in India?

    The emerging trends shaping the gaming framework in India are the rise of mobile usage, affordable 5G internet connectivity, AR and VR technology, and cloud gaming.

  7. What are the challenges the gaming industry in India faces?

    The challenges the gaming industry in India faces are the uncertainties of the regulations, issues with talent retention, and limitations on money usage.

  8. What are the key factors that will drive gaming growth in India?

    The key factors include technological advancements, affordable internet connectivity, 5 G government initiatives, and the popularity of Esports.

  9. What is the full form of AVGC?

    The full form of AVGC is Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, Comics and Extended Reality.

  10. What role does AR and VR technology play in shaping the future of gaming in India?

    AR and VR technologies offer immersive gaming experiences and virtual elements incorporated into the real world to shape the future of gaming in India.

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