Gaming is all set to become one of the major driving forces for digital expansion in India. Skill-based games and fantasy games are the genres that are witnessing the highest growth in India. The country has always been a hub of skill-based games – be it Ludo or Chess or Rummy, Indians love playing these games way before video games and online gaming became the trend.
In conversation with Animationxpress Junglee Games head of games Puneet Mehrotra shares a picture of games of skill scene in India. Says he,“Games of skill is a booming market in India. Industry is set to touch $1 billion mark by 2022. 2019 saw an increased moment in this space which in turn has setup high benchmarks for 2020. New skill gaming companies are coming up and many of them have also secured funding.”
What is game of skill?
A game of skill is when a player invests his/her time in learning, practising and refining his skill to perform in a particular game. The Supreme Court noted that games of skill would be where “Success depends principally upon the superior knowledge, training, attention, experience and adroitness of the player. It is also noted by the Supreme Court that a Game of Skill will have a predominance of Skill Factor. The principal legislation governing gambling in India is the Public Gambling Act, 1867 (‘PGA’). The PGA criminalises the act of ‘gambling’ in a public forum and the keeping of a ‘common gaming house’. The PGA, however, creates an important exception in favour of games of skill, by stating that the provisions of the PGA shall [not] be held to apply to any ‘game of mere skill’ wherever played.”
With this aspect, a lot of games have shaped the game of skill sector in 2019. In 2020 skill based games have open up opportunities in terms of investments, revenues and popularity. Apart from cheap data rates and affordable smart phones the two reasons why skill based games are gaining popularity are because games which are available right now under game of skill have opened up the window for players to earn real money on basis of their skills, and the awareness and the knowledge of the audience on game of skills have gained over the years.
“More people than ever now understand the difference between gambling (game of chance) and wagering based games of skill. Users are looking for ROI on the time they spend on games and this genre provide just that to them. With the increase in penetration of mobile and internet in tier two and tier three cities in India, sky is the limit,” he expressed.
Today the market is much more receptive towards the new games that are coming in. Although it is a fact that the gaming industry is mostly dominated with youth audience however the attraction of mixed audience in the games of skills is towards higher side. The reason behind the maturity is the attractiveness of game of skill campaigns which have not only aware people about the game of skill but have also attracted non gamers to learn, practice and refine their skill and this is will become more prominent in the coming years. Giving the picture of how the market will be for Rummy and Fantasy in 2020 he highlighted that, “Rummy and Fantasy will continue to push the market size boundaries to new heights in 2020. A lot of companies are now experimenting with RMG versions of casual and hyper casual games; this is the space to watch this year.”
Junglee Games’ debuted the gaming market with Junglee Rummy, which was launched in April, 2012. Since then the team behind Junglee Games has evolved, adapted and created some of the biggest skill-based games to suit the audience’s interest and today while marching to the year 2020, he shares, “These are exciting times at Junglee Games. We are the fastest growing skill gaming company in South East Asia. Revenues are double digit percentage of $600M GMV. 2020 will see us venturing out into casual games RMG space.”