The Thriving World of Online Games Hits Jackpot in India

The world of games has been growing not only in India but across the whole world. Moving away from a time when businesses struggled with funds and trying to find a market for itself, it is today amongst the fastest growing industries so far.

The gaming industry is heading towards 628 million local users with the Indian market already worth over $890 million. Over weekends and festive holidays, the new entertainment destination for Indians is games. What is turning the wheel in this gaming zone is the Real Money Games (RMG) bringing games like play rummy online, fantasy sports, quiz, and poker.

In less than 10 years, the gaming industry is over 100 crore with over 100 organizations in the RMG segment. The model for these companies is subscription based, with all transactions happening through credit or debit cards. The growth rate for this gaming sector has been pretty good with 50% growth year on year, along with revenues growing at an average of 30%.

The popularity of games in India

As per the industry sources, there are approximately 4-5 companies that capture 80-90% of the RMG market in India. These include companies like Dream11 offering fantasy cricket and online football games. There are further sites for playing rummy like RummyCircle and Ace2Three, along with poker sites like Adda52 that are among the leaders in online card games.

The audience in India, prefer to consume games more than any other form of entertainment and is not hesitant in going for cash or freemium games. As per a recent report, the top three categories that see the highest installs on mobiles are news, social media and gaming apps. The period 2017-18saw around a 94% jump in installs in news related apps, followed by 80% growth seen in social media apps and over 52% jump in the gaming apps segment. The concepts that work well with the Indian audiences are games, quizzes, and activities that require continuous practice.

Players are today confident about their gameplay and want to try out their skills and improve their game as they go along. As per the recent sources the major RMG companies are now moving into new games for sports and fun. Popular on the chart are games like bridge, billiards, car racing pool, and other fantasy games.

Making Money from Games

Digital games fall into three broad categories, eSports with games like Counter-Strike and FIFA, then there are mobile games like Candy Crush and then there are real money games. The real money games further falling into categories that are;play rummy online real money, which is the largest, followed by poker and then the daily fantasy and finally quizzes.

Even though the video games are believed to be ahead of it all, today it’s the real money games that are winning. The Indian real money gaming industry is hitting annual revenues of Rs. 1000-2000 Crore. Even though the number of players enjoying free games is significantly higher, the revenue from real money games makes the cut. It is these competitive games worldwide that bring in the money and increase ARPU (average revenue per user).

What’s limiting it?

There are some apprehensions and some amount of debate when we talk about real money games. Players still think that playing real cash games is illegal in the country and are hesitant to give it a shot. However, the games that fall under the purview of skill games are 100% legal as stated by the Supreme Court of India. Games like poker that have an element of chance along with skill, can’t be played for real cash. However, not all players are clear about this demarcation. Staying clear of all cash games is what they find as a safe path. The other reason is that there is no one clear regulatory body. The top rummy companies of the country have come together to form The Rummy Federation (TRF) that acts like a regulatory body giving a unified structure to all top rummy online organizations. However, the same needs to come into the other segments of the RMG as well.

eSports and Fantasy Games

eSports is another segment that is growing rapidly in digital games. As per a market research by Newzoo the global market for eSports is $748 and is expected to reach $1.2 billion by the end of this year. If we look at the Indian scenario, it is expected to have 2 million enthusiasts and nearly 2 million occasional viewers. So, yes, it is still at the base level, however, is growing rapidly.

Fantasy games are something that is upcoming in India. People are still trying out the concept and seeing how they go along with it. Casual mobile games are the biggest market of the games in the country and will continue to remain so, strongly given competition by Real Money Games.

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