Home / India’s Online Gaming Sector receives a $131 million injection
Covid-19 is a word , a disease, a pandemic that we would all like to erase from our memories. The dreaded virus has caused havoc all over the world that has led to the ruins of countless businesses. However, with lockdown measures going back into place in India, it seems that punters will get to enjoy online games for an extended amount of time. As a result, online gaming platforms have flourished since the start of the pandemic and have attracted some heavy investments.
According to data from Tracxn, a firm that tracks investments and financials of private companies and start-ups, a staggering $131 million was poured into the online gaming sector in 2020. The number of companies that received the investment has grown to 11, a six year high. Some of the success stories include MPL that hosts a variety of games including fantasy cricket and the ever popular Ludo. Players are able to access these games via iOS or Android devices.
Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL) had the following to say “Gaming has been on an upward trajectory in India for over three years. Last year’s lockdown was a black swan event that accelerated the rise of this industry with user engagement increasing on e-sports and skill-gaming platforms .Last year, the focus also turned to games that are made in India by Indian game developers and studios and investors made a beeline as they saw potential in the sector.
Further, with Internet penetration in India only increasing and digital payments catching on beyond the metros, a lot of the tier-2 and tier-3 cities’ population started taking to e-sports and gaming in a big way. All these factors contributed to the sector attracting investment.”
Srinivas believes that improvements in three sectors have led to the growth “In India, a combination of three factors — cheap and fast data, affordable smartphones, and easy digital payments — have converged at the right time to give people access to e-sports and skill-based mobile gaming,” said Srinivas, on the edge that India has over other geographies in this space, adding, “And given the penetration that Indian gaming platforms are seeing in tier-2, tier-3 cities and beyond, e-sports and gaming can be truly democratised in India via mobile platforms, where the location of the gamer will not matter.”
“Regulatory clarity will definitely help attract investments as it does away with any ambiguity around the sector,” said Srinivas, adding, “With e-sports being recognised globally on par with traditional sports (it is a medal event in the 2022 Asian Games), the onus is on all stakeholders to develop the sector and recognise and nurture talent.”
RummyCircle.com is another name that has done exceptionally well during the pandemic and have seen their database swell to a few hundred million. Their main focus is providing online rummy to mobile and desktop users. Similarly, India has seen an explosion in the number of bookmakers and online casinos. Punters can now choose from a plethora of names including 10Cric, Betway, Casino Days and much more!
The situation has become even more favourable for local Indian apps due to the ban on popular Chinese apps including TikTok, PUBG and Helo. This has allowed Indian companies to offer their products to the masses. According to a recent Deloitte report, the number of online gamers in India also surged to 326 million in 2020 from 269 million in 2018 . This trend is not showing any signs of slowing down and is expected to hit 368 million by 2022. The market size is also expected to grow to $2.8 billion in 2022, up from $1.5 billion in 2020.