The online gaming market in India is having a moment. The industry, worth $543 Mn in 2016, grew by 17.3% to reach $1.027 Bn in 2020, an EY-All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) report says.
The sharp growth witnessed in this space is driven by affordable smartphones, improved internet connectivity, the rise of gaming content on various streaming platforms and the strong inclination of the youth towards digital entertainment. However, the Covid crisis has played a crucial role here since 2020. As outdoor activities were strictly restricted due to pandemic-induced lockdowns, online gaming emerged as a strong recreational impetus.
India also moved to the top spot in global mobile game downloads in the first nine months of 2020, with 7.3 Bn or 17% of worldwide downloads clocked during this period. Some of the most popular genres of the time were multiplayer action-adventure, sports, fantasy and skill-based games.
The rise in the number of gamers — 360 Mn in 2020 and is projected to grow to 510 Mn by 2022, according to the same report — further accelerated the potential of the online gaming industry.
The newfound traction saw many new players enter the segment to tap into this huge opportunity. At present, as many as 400 gaming startups are operating in India.
Among these, the most significant gaming platform is Nazara Technologies that launched its IPO in March 2021.
The industry recently came under the spotlight when the Karnataka Assembly passed a Bill to ban online games that include any form of betting or gambling. With the future of fantasy and online card games still uncertain as their status is fiercely debated as a game of chance versus a game of skill, the latest legislation further complicates the situation.
With so many developments happening across the industry, it is essential to focus any discussion not only on growth strategies and tech innovations but also on data security, regulatory hurdles and building a troll-proof community.
In a bid to address these issues and take a deep dive into the trends, opportunities and security challenges in the online gaming space, Inc42 hosted The Dialogue, powered by Onfido.
Set up in 2012, Onfido helps startups and enterprises conduct identity verification and streamline and speed up the onboarding experience for users through AI-powered processes. With the aim to create a more secure onboarding experience for businesses and users alike, Onfido partnered with Inc42 for this edition of The Dialogue.
The Dialogue: The Rise Of India’s Online Gaming Platforms
Moderated by Utkarsh Sinha, managing director of Bexley Advisors, the session hosted Sameer Barde, CEO, TORF; Sunit Warish, CEO, RummyBaazi, and Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara Technologies.
During the session, we focussed on:
- The factors driving startup growth and opportunities in 2021
- How the pandemic and the government’s measures to contain it became the biggest factors to drive the adoption and scale of the online gaming industry
- The viewpoint of the industry on the recent government Bills and the ban on real money gaming platforms
- The challenges and threats regarding user security on gaming platforms and how solutions from companies like Onfido are helping ensure a seamless and secure user onboarding process