The Indian Games of Skill Market - Analysis and Forecast, 2016-2022
The global digital gaming industry is an expanse of a host of industry verticals ranging from software providers to game developers and investment firms to media firms. India, being home to a population of over 1.3 billion, holds immense potential to grow exponentially in the digital gaming industry. The country has a very clear definition for skill based games and is home to numerous start-ups and early age companies offering real money card based games and fantasy sports. Moreover, there is a significant inclination observed in the youth towards fantasy sports and real money based online poker.
The report a meticulous compilation of the diverse gaming types played online in India, which qualify to involve a dominant portion of skills, instead of chance. In addition to a thorough analysis of the push and pull forces balancing the market dynamics, special emphasis has been laid on the opportunities and their relevance. The report further provides market estimate and forecast information for the key gaming types according to the scope along with the key growth enablers and market players for each type.
A comparative analysis of the key players for poker, rummy, and fantasy sports is also an important inclusion of the report. Furthermore, to understand the ecosystem, the various segments of the value chain are also analyzed in the report. To gauge the attractiveness of the market in greater depth, the report includes sections of comparative analysis, key revenue models, and porter’s five forces analysis.
The report involves a mix of 20+ companies chosen on the basis of their market developments, revenue generation and market share in the industry. The companies profiled in the report include Dream11, CricBattle Inc., Gaussian Networks Pvt. Ltd. (Adda52), Head Infotech India Pvt. Ltd. (Ace2Three), Play Games 24X7 Pvt. Ltd. (RummyCircle), Zynga Inc., NET Entertainment, and Innopark India Pvt. Ltd. (Classic Rummy) among others.
Key questions answered in the report:
Setting up new benchmarks in the digital media domain, online gaming has walloped the console based or video game industry in the past decade. While the increasing smartphone usage is propelling the demand of interactive gaming globally, the wide spread use of internet is adding on to the exponential growth of digital gaming. The digital gaming industry is currently standing at a point of influx with numerous established and early stage companies paving their way into geographies with untapped market potential, India being one of them. The vast expanse of digital gaming has broad categories of mobile gaming, social media based gaming, Personal Computer (PC) based gaming, Console based gaming, and Massive Multiplayer Online based (MMO).
Except console based gaming, almost all of the categories mentioned above touch base to some extent with the concept of skill based gaming. A game of skill is one where players rely on their skill and not on chance. For instance, while famous casino game Roulette is a game of chance, Indian Rummy qualifies to be a game of skill.
Following the definition, games such as fantasy sports, eSports, strategy games, brain games, and arcade games, where players compete against each other and not the computer, fall under the category of skill based games. In comparison to the global scenario, the share of India is apparently insignificant. However, currently it is the opportunity that the industry stakeholders are eyeing in the country. The driving forces identified for the market include huge inclination of country’s population towards sports, particularly cricket and football, massive Proliferation of smartphones, and traditional prevalence of card based games among others. On the contrary the key pain points identified for the market are continuous requirement of compelling gaming ideas and innovations, paucity of information, and large rural population among others.
The revenue generation for skill based games in India are in the order of card based games, strategy, Brain, and arcade games, and fantasy sports. eSports have not yet contributed any significant revenue in the market. However, with the launch of Indian Gaming League, partnerships between NODWIN and Electronic Sports League (ESL) and other similar events, it is anticipated that eSports revenue will stream through from 2017 in the total market size.The Indian Game of Skills market is expected to grow over $3.6 billion by 2022 at an astounding CAGR through 2015 to 2022. The following figure gives a snapshot of the market share of key skill based gaming types:
Indian Skill Based Gaming Market Share (%), 2015, 2019, and 2022
Source: BIS Research Analysis
Poker and Rummy are the most widely played skill based game in India. In India, while gambling is illegal, playing traditional real money rummy and poker is legal. Amidst the ambiguity in the legal scenario, the 1.3 bllion population country has a registered user base of ~15 million for card based games. Further, In spite of having almost a billion fans of cricket in the country, the revenue generation from fantasy cricket remains minuscule in the global scenario. The lag in technology adoption remains a key barrier in this reference. While 2/3rd of the country’s population is under the rural bracket, this share of population has very limited access to internet and understanding of fantasy sports.
Strategy games and brain games such as Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Zynga’s Words with Friends are expected to dominate the skill based gaming market by 2022. The reason being the exponential growth of mobile gaming market in the country. Social media has been attracting an increasing user base for games such as Zynga Poker which are non-money games, but generate revenue through in-app purchases for virtual goods and advertisement services.
The revenue generation in skill based gaming market varies with the game type and the mode of using the same. While app based versions largely rely on advertisements and in app purchases for bringing in revenue, website based gaming platforms also attract a small, yet growing percentage of pay-per game users. With even 10% of the total India’s population becoming paid users on skill based gaming platforms, the market will be double of that of the leading revenue generating country globally.
The intensity of competition in the market is balanced between heavy rivalries between cards based games and mobile based games. Players from a host of industry verticals are involved in this market ranging from game developers and infrastructure providers, advertisement companies and distributors. Some of the companies based out of India are Dream11, Gaussian Networks Pvt. Ltd. (Adda52), Head Infotech Pvt. Ltd. (Ace2Three) and Junglee Games.
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