Outlook: Indian Mobile Gaming Market 2015

Indian MobileGamingEcosystem 2015
Changes have been occurring rapidly and dramatically in India’s digital ecosystem since 2014. Technology companies are increasing their focus on mobile with each passing day. Gaming sector is one of the biggest sectors that contribute to the digital economy, like it does in China. It has largely contributed to the success of Chinese digital economy since the PC Internet era. A lot of famous Chinese Internet companies depend on the revenues from gaming portal companies, like Sohu, Net Ease, Sina etc. all of them either have the subsidiaries like Changyou.com(Sohu), or they themselves are housing the internal gaming divisions. Net Ease is the top earner for gaming on Apple App store, guess who is the second? Tencent. Tencent games take half of the Chinese gaming market.  

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Largely there are three industries namely – eCommerce, Gaming and Internet Advertisement that have propelled Chinese Internet development. The three are almost the engine of Internet economy, here is the comparison between these three sectors in India and China from 2013 till 2014.

 Year 2013 2014
China India China India
Internet Advertising 1000 30 1565 41
Games 831 13 1144 31
eCommerce 102000 100 134000 837

Shown Above: Comparison between Internet Economy in India & China (Unit INR Billion)

A significant growth of 138% was witnessed in the Indian gaming segment between 2013 & 2014. Below are some more estimations of game market for India.

India Mobile Game Market Revenue (Unit: Million $)


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The mobile gaming market looks promising with 100% growth from 2013 to 2014. “in India, there is shortage of entertainment avenues” once quoted by Google MD Rajan Anandam. And he is a visionary with this statement. Mobile game as the easiest and cost-effective vehicle of entertainment. It shall become undoubtedly more popular. “A retired-60-year-old government officer may recharge Candy Crush three times a day each with 100 INR as observed by Ex Director of Mobogenie in India, Abhishek Parihar, and he himself is a heavy gamer. There is fast increment on the Indian mobile game players’ segments as shown below.

Mobile Gamers in India (In million)

Mobile Gamers in India (In million)

ARPU in China is $12.5 with 530 million mobile game players contributing to $6.7 billion revenue; in India the ARPU per user would be roughly $1. There is still a large gap in terms of the paying power. But the prospect is impetus. When we look at the top grossing game as the comparison, for the average teen patti game, ARPDAU would be 1%, similar card game in China would having 3%.    

The top earning game of Candy Crush in India would have $30,000 per day as revenue. While the similar delete game of Kaixin XiaoXiao Le is having $2.5 Million revenue per day.  The Mobile game “Fantastic journey to the west” with 250 million registered users, 2.5 miilion concurrent users, 8 billion INR per month as revenue.

One of the primary driving force for the India mobile gaming market is the the inelastic demand for the smartphone in India, the following graphic show the trends.

Smartphone growth in India (In million)

Smartphone growth in India (In million)

In this year alone, India would end up with selling of 120 million smartphones. Smartphone comes with the change of lifestyle, of which mobile game is taking more and more leisure time of mobile users.

As far as the smartphone attributes’ concern, below graph have given a clear understanding.

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Also, most of the smartphones being used in India have a resolution of 800*400px, with the moderate resolution, the major chunk of phone size will be 4-5 inch. The Internal Ram size shall at least have 70% less than 1 GB. The developers shall always take these factor into a consideration when producing a game for Indian mobile market.

India Mobile Gaming Ecosystem

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Largely, gaming is a part of culture – Candy crush, Game of War are the representatives of Western Culture. In 2014, Octro produced a national phenomenal game-Teen patti, that marks the beginning of game localization, Teen patti has been a part of the digital paradigm in India since then. As one of the oldest civilizations, Indians are patriotic about their own rich and resourceful history and heroic dynasty, which serve as the outstanding theme for the games to be localized.

2014 was the year when Octro and Junglee both secured the capital from Sequoia capital. When investment goes into such content producers, surely more India focussed games can be expected.

Some challenges faced by Content producers in India  

  1. Revenue share 6:4 or 5:5
  2. World’s lowest download speed in average 38kbps,
  3. Lack of skilled labor

Operators used to take a large pie of the revenue from content ecosystem, starting from 70:30 to 60:40 to 50:50 and now should be lower, historically there has been a continuous attempt to produce games locally, few major western gaming houses had  even setups their subsidiary, but finally they withdrew themselves, which led to a shortage of skilled manpower of mobile games.

Current Trends in India Mobile Market

A research into the top 100 grossing games shows the following statistics

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The Strategy games are all about “build the castle, raise cavalry and fight enemy”, the only difference is the theme, and few minor modifications in gameplay, those games initially were the favorite of European players. This year the Clash of Kings and Age of Warring empire from Elex, Spartan Wars: Empire of honor by Tapforfun have grabbed the market , while the Indian themed strategy games are not far away from debut.

Deletion games are a common type, but looks likes with the overwhelming populace of Candy crush saga, hardly any publisher wants to try their hand at it. Experience from China has shown, game play remains less significant when compared with the know IP and Art work, of which the local teams are more capable. Candy Crush like Kaixin Xiaoxiao Le in China has got 350 million user installations.

Casual games in India by far and large will be the big pie. Teen patti as one of the local card games has been adopted by several producers today.

On global charts, top 100 games have 15 products each coming from US and Europe, 8 from India (by Nazara, Octro and Reliance), and 4 coming from China.

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Summing Up

  1. India will host one of the largest mobile game markets in a couple of years, the GAGR is expected to be 50% or more.
  2. The mobile gaming market revenue is largely limited by the disposable income and the propensity to pay. While the large potential is on the other side of the coin.
  3. Challenge lies in the opportunity, and vice versa. The one who can cater to the cost effective market but with quality product will finally make a fortune.
  4. The Indian market will predominantly on casual games, considering the populace of mid to low end smart phones and of course the first time smartphone users
  5. The ecosystem is still not built, hence there lies a huge opportunity.

Overall, India mobile game market will be a spectacular war to fight and entertaining to watch, anyway the future is here, and the best yet to come.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire and the editor(s).


  • Alex Qian

    Thanks for Imawire to publish this paper, it might be my personal opinion, welcome for opinion

    • Sahiba Sachdev

      Hi Alex, which report did you refer to here? Very interesting insights