India’s gamers are fuelling a new revolution as mobile gaming startups enter the mainstream entertainment. Currently, over 120 Mn gamers in India, play mobile games for over 30 minutes a day with industry estimates of 500 Mn game downloads every month. Over the next few years, more than 400 Mn Indians are expected to join the banking system, and with access to smartphones and digital transactions, the domestic gaming industry is expected to touch $943.8 Mn (INR 6000 Cr) by 2020.
At over 200 domestic gaming companies today as per Industry estimates, the mobile gaming space is still nascent and is expected to cross over to 400 plus developers in the next few years. Macroeconomic trends will accelerate the number of developers entering the mobile gaming ecosystem and presents a great opportunity for new startups. New games with improved quality and graphics, enhancement of gaming experiences with OEMs launching affordable devices for gaming, and success stories of home-grown developers will further aid this process.
One of the factors leading this change is the adoption of local games that aids discovery and high engagement. Discovery of new apps is a global challenge for game creators with millions of titles lining up the app stores. In China, over 90% of spending in games, is driven by games made by Chinese developers.
India has many success stories recently on the top downloads charts on Google Play with homegrown games around popular culture like Cricket, Ludo, Simulations, Casual ruling the roost with high engagement and positive customer feedback.
Essentials For New Startups Entering Mobile Gaming Space
New startups entering this space need to carefully pick their niches and genres so that they can compete on an equal footing with global companies who have an end to end development studios, and global skills and experience backing them.
The biggest challenge that startups run into is marketing and user acquisition for their titles post-launch.
A well-thought community management and growth marketing plan, working with right publishers to craft a go-to-market strategy for competitive genres, and tactful use of digital marketing is the need of the hour for startups aiming to capture the mindshare of their audience post-launch.
India’s strength in art, engineering, analytics and data science puts local startups on a strong foothold in terms of offering outsourcing services in addition to developing games for the next hundred million gamers entering the domestic market.
Emerging game developers should also develop a robust process for prototyping and beta testing so that titles are evolved with user feedback prior to launch.
The Music and OTT industry in India offers a glimpse of how engagement and quality content can create lasting value for consumers.
With an industry growing at breakneck speeds, downloads skyrocketing in most genres and an appetite for the emerging middle class and youth to consume games on the go, mobile gaming presents an excellent opportunity for startups to emerge successful in this next frontier of growth.