The pandemic has given a boost to the Indian gaming market and people now want to pay more to play. More than 24 million Indians have entered the payment-linked gaming market, according to analysts.
The Indian games market is expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2022 to $5 billion in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 28-30%. The number of gamers in the country is expected to grow from 420 million in 2022 to 450 million in 2023 and reach 500 million in 2025.
What are online games?
The term “online game” refers to games that can only be played with an internet connection. It’s part of the rising sun industry, where demand for access to games is growing.
With over 1.3 billion players on over 200 platforms, the country is the largest fantasy sports market in the world.
How big is the online game market in India?
India’s mobile gaming industry is expected to reach US$5 billion by 2025. Between 2017 and 2020, the country’s industry expanded at a CAGR of 38%, compared to 8% in China and 10% in the United States.
Over the past two years, India’s percentage of new paying users (NPU) in gaming has risen from 40% in 2020 to 50% in 2021, the fastest growth rate in the world.
EY FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).
Why online gaming is growing in India
Restrictions and lockdowns imposed by Covid 19, online schools and working from home, and the growing popularity of digital payments have contributed to the increased demand for online gaming.
The gaming industry has grown and invested more to meet demand. Tech companies have also started to take an interest in it due to its potential profitability.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), mobile devices are a major driver of the Indian gaming industry. The use of smartphones has encouraged the development of the gaming industry. Most games are played on mobile devices. Affordable internet and the availability of faster smartphones with enhanced gaming capabilities are also stimulating the market.
Laws to monitor the online gaming industry in India
Online gaming platforms (domestic or international) that offer online games for real money to users in India must be legal entities incorporated under the laws of India. The Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002 treats these platforms as ‘reporting bodies’. These platforms are required to notify the Financial Intelligence Unit India of any suspicious transactions.
While most states allow skill-based games, some states do not allow gambling or games of chance that are considered immoral. Online gaming has always been regulated by states, but state governments find it difficult to enforce rules such as geo-blocking certain apps and websites within their borders. Skills competitions are restricted in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
In October of this year, a task force set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) produced a final report detailing recommendations for regulating the Indian online gaming industry. Recommendations include the Online Gaming Central Level Law, the regulatory body for the online gaming industry, and a three-tier dispute resolution mechanism. MeitY may act as the main ministry for the regulation of online games, with the exception of the esports category, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Sports.
What are the problems related to online games?
More and more people are becoming addicted to online games. Compulsive games by children are influencing exhibitions in schools, affecting social life and relationships with families.
Online games such as PUBG and Blue Whale Challenge were restricted after incidents of violence and suicide. This addiction is said to be the cause of myopia in young people. Fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse, and bullying can all result from unintentional sharing of personal information. Arguably the most popular Indian online game, ludo has been the subject of controversy and has also been the subject of betting and gambling allegations.