With pandemic, cheap data rate and affordable mobile devices, the gaming sector is booming. Today, according to experts, India is among the top five markets for mobile gaming. According to a new report by Open signal – Ahmedabad, Navi Mumbai and Vadodara are the top three cities in terms of the number of mobile gamers. The report has been compiled from data registered from 48 of the biggest cities in India between 30 April 2020 to 29 July 2020.
Opensignal analyzed the mobile network experience in 48 of India’s largest cities to see how they stacked up on the Games Experience metric. It measures how users perceive real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on cellular networks (on a scale of 0-100) across some of the most popular genres such as Battle Royale and MOBA games, of which COD, PUBG and Clash Royale are examples. The report states, “We found that cities in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra dominated our measure of mobile gaming experience in India — seven of the top ten cities hail from either of the states. The best Games Experience was enjoyed by our users in Gujarat’s metro city of Ahmedabad with a score of 71.7, followed by Navi Mumbai (70.1) and Vadodara (69.8). It was noteworthy that Ahmedabad and Mumbai were the only Tier 1 cities that placed in the top ten cities, along with Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities like Surat, Thane, and Rajkot.”
In addition to that, App Annie also estimated that the mobile games market in India is worth $1.1 billion with the number of users projected to reach 628 million by this year. This means that games experience is becoming increasingly important for Indian consumers, hence any operator that provides the best games experience definitely holds an advantage.
After observing the sector closely we have figured out why India is growing in mobile gaming sector and here are the six factors which we think are responsible for the growth:
- Covid-19 and nationwide lockdown put a ban on the usual outdoor lifestyle of the people as everyone stayed at home. Gaming has become one of the viable options to entertain and connect with friends and families, and since mobile is the most affordable device to do so, therefore, the mobile gaming sector has grown exponentially.
- Marketing of mobile gaming platforms like WinZo, Paytm First, MPL played a big role in attracting players as they get chance to play multiple games under one roof. For example, WinZo with its campaign Bharat has targeted not just Tier 1 cities in India but also Tier 2 cities and beyond.
- Another important factor with the gaming platforms was that they started conducting small mobile gaming tournaments which have pushed players to take gaming not just as a mode of entertainment but also as a competition. For example: when Paytm First conducted Clash of Royale tournament the company initially aimed to host the tournament with only 512 players but due to overwhelming response, it extended the registration numbers and eventually received over 11,000 participation requests.
- With the whooshing rise of mobile gaming and users, the interest for esports has gained momentum during the time span of April to July. Esports startup EWar Games has taken its total user count to over 500k and during the lockdown period, EWar’s mobile app has also noted a 40 per cent increase with respect to the average time spent per day by users on the app, and 4x growth in the average number of games being played daily.
- With the rise of esports and competitive mindset, game streaming brands like LOCO has put their best foot forward to stream gaming videos along with the streaming of esports content in various language to cater the growing audience. In May, LOCO partnered with esports organisation Skyesports for Grandslam Tournament which wrapped with over 28 mn impressions as the stream of the esports content was also available in Hindi and Tamil.
- Real money game of skill games also pushed in the growth of mobile gamers, as there are chances for players to earn real cash by participating in it. During the lockdown where most of the businesses got shut, every user aimed to earn cash from gaming medium. Spartan Poker has seen greater traction during the lockdown with 100 per cent increase in acquiring new customers and overall 25 to 30 per cent growth, mostly from Tier 1 and tier 2 cities.