Video Game Industry: Statistics, Demographics and Trends in India

India’s video games industry is evolving at a rapid pace. It is home to one in 10 of the world’s gamers1 and looks set to become one of the leading players in the global gaming market.

This blog uncovers the latest video game statistics, demographics and trends in India.

Read More: Global Video Game Industry: Statistics, Demographics, Trends

Video game industry statistics in India

So, how popular is gaming in India? Let’s take a look at the current state of the market and what is driving growth:

  • The number of gamers in India was about 365 million in 2020 and this is estimated to reach 510 million by 20222. The Covid-19 pandemic had a major influence on video game industry growth in India as people have used gaming as escapism and entertainment.
  • India’s gaming industry was worth around 90 billion Indian rupees ($US 1.23 billion) in 2020 and this was predicted to grow at a CAGR of 26% to over 143 billion rupees (1.96 billion) by 20223.
  • India is the fifth largest mobile gaming market in the world4 due to the affordability of smartphones, some of the cheapest network data tariffs in the world and improving mobile internet speeds.
  • India is a mobile-first gaming market: 94% mobile, 9% PC and 4% console5. (There is an overlap in users across devices as some users play with more than one device.) Smartphones are more accessible than consoles and offer the flexibility of anytime/anywhere gaming.
  • Video game industry revenue in India generated by the mobile gaming market was projected to reach about $US405 million6 by 2022 – up from about $US266 million in 2016.
  • It is anticipated that 44% of smartphone owners in India7 will be playing games on their devices by 2022.
  • Spending on virtual purchases is considerably lower in India8 ($US5-10 per person in 2021) compared to the global average ($US130-140 per person in 2020).
  • International video games are more popular in India than local options – Ludo King, developed by Gameton Technologies, is the only Indian game in the top 10 downloaded mobile games in India9.
  • Analysts predict that the video game industry will create over 40,000 job opportunities10 in India by 2022 (up from around 25,000 in 2017).

Video game industry demographics

indian gamers

It is interesting to look at who plays video games (demographics) in India and why they are gaming to understand what is driving market growth.

A 2021 report by Inmobi – Everyone’s Gaming Among Us11 – into the mobile gaming industry in India dispels the myth that all gamers are male teenagers. Here are the key findings:

  • 43% of respondents are female / 57% of respondents are male
  • Female gamers: 2% – 18-24 years old | 12% – 25-44 years old | 28% – aged 45+
  • Male gamers: 8% – 18-24 years old | 47% – 25-44 years old | 2% – aged 45+
  • All gamers: 10% – 18-24 years old | 59% – 25-44 years old | 31% – aged 45+

The Inmobi survey also looks at how often mobile gamers in India are playing on their devices:

  • 80% – committed gamers, playing every day
  • 11% – regular gamers, playing at least once a week
  • 9% – occasional gamers, playing once a month or less

The report gives the top reasons why different people play. Across all three types of gamers, relaxation and entertainment were cited as important motivators.

Committed gamers:

  • Entertainment/relaxation
  • To compete and win
  • To improve skills

Non-metro gamers (people living outside urban areas):

  • Entertainment/relaxation
  • To compete and win
  • To fight boredom

Gen X gamers (aged 45+):

  • Entertainment/relaxation
  • To connect with friends/family
  • To compete and win

Video game industry trends in India

Here are five trends that are influencing the future direction of gaming in India:

Global expansion

India’s gaming industry has not yet made its mark on the global stage for several reasons: low consumer spending on games, relatively low game design capabilities and a lack of government support. However, things are changing. According to a 2021 KPMG report on the Indian gaming market, there has been a recent rise in investment in the gaming sector12 driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is likely to give Indian studios the resources to scale up and expand into the global games market.

Government involvement

As the gaming industry continues to experience rapid growth, the government is expected to get increasingly involved in facilitating and regulating the industry. Prime minister, Narendra Modi, already acknowledged the “huge potential in this area”13 in 2020 when he called on the gaming industry to “lead the international digital gaming sector by developing games that are inspired from Indian culture and folk tales.” In order to promote the animation, visual effects, gaming and comic (AVGC) sector in India, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has recently formed a task force14 to facilitate career pathways into gaming and create a world-leading talent pool. It will recommend a national curriculum framework for higher studies in these areas.

Potential of esports

Esports is set to experience rapid growth in India over the next three years. According to an EY report, the esports India market will quadruple in size to Rs 1,100 crore by 202515. The Federation of Electronic Sports Associations India (FEAI)16 will soon launch a policy paper outlining a framework for the development of esports in the country. The organization predicts that the growth in the esports will be fuelled by an electronic version of cricket – currently India’s most popular sport. Vaibhav Dange, founding president of FEAI, said: “Cricket presents a massive opportunity for growth of esports in Commonwealth nations. We are working closely with international bodies such as the British Esports Association. We want India to develop its own e-gaming ecosystem and compete at global tournaments with the best of the world.”

Virtual reality

Asia Pacific dominates the worldwide virtual reality (VR) gaming market, accounting for 40% of global revenue17. Within the region, India is predicted to experience strong demand for VR games over the coming years for several reasons:

  • Rapid advances in VR capabilities globally – key industry players like Sony, HP, Google, Meta and Apple are investing in it18
  • Growing popularity of VR experiences and arcades (like Zero Latency 19) in major cities in India
  • Increased disposable income20 to spend on entertainment
  • Rise of the experience economy – India’s young demographic (the median age in India is 28 years old21) is more attracted to premium experiences rather than products.

As technology continues to develop and gamers seek more interactive experiences, the future of VR gaming in India looks assured.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to be embraced by Indian game developers22. From a player’s point of view, it offers better engagement, more interactive experiences and a personalized journey during the game. For developers, it is a way of collecting data to measure, predict and track player behavior and preferences. This information can then be used to further enhance player experience and encourage in-game spending. The future of gaming in India – as in other global markets – will no doubt involve AI. The technology behind it will allow the development of ever more immersive games and new ways of playing.

Specialist mental health resources for helping professionals

gaming disorder training

As the number of people playing video games in India continues to rise, so does the prevalence of problematic gaming. It is estimated that 3% of the world’s 3 billion gamers suffer from gaming disorder. To treat the growing number of people seeking support, helping professionals need access to specialist training to advance their knowledge and expertise.

INTENTA’s mental health resources, equip professionals with the skills and tools to help vulnerable players and their families find a healthier relationship with gaming. Discover evidence-based strategies to break down barriers and help your clients regain control of their gaming habits.

Find out more about our internationally-accredited Gaming Disorder Clinical Training today.

Footnote: <sup>1</sup>


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