5G roll-out to drive mobile gaming in India in 2022

At nearly 500 million, India is currently second in terms of smartphone users in the world after China.

New Delhi: With cutting-edge technologies now available in smartphones, the mobile gaming industry is among the fastest booming segments in India. The whole scenario is set to witness a sea change with the roll out of 5G technology in smartphones which are already 5G-enabled.

India is currently home to over 430 million mobile gamers and the number is estimated to grow to 650 million by 2025, according to latest data provided by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

As the Indian gaming market is poised to hit $3.9 billion (in value) by 2025, over 40 per cent of hardcore mobile gamers are paying for their games with an average spend of Rs 230 per month.

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The pandemic has accelerated the organic growth of digital games as mobile app downloads grew by 50 per cent and user engagement went up by 20 per cent, the IAMAI report said.

At nearly 500 million, India is currently second in terms of smartphone users in the world after China.

The opportunities in the gaming industry are enormous in India, and, in the years ahead, even budding gamers from tier 3 or 4 cities can rise to fame with the right set of skills and efforts.

According to experts, the launch of the 5G data network will further boost the mobile gaming sector in India.

Sachin Kalantari, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Qualcomm India, said that gaming has become a popular form of entertainment and a tool for social/family interactions.

“Advent of 5G in India will drive this momentum even further and enhance gaming experiences due to factors like higher data speeds, lower latency, and technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Moreover, to address this upcoming demand and meet consumer expectations, many OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have already launched a range of 5G-enabled smartphones,” Kalantari told IANS.

India is one of the most important gaming markets among developing economies in the world. With over 75 per cent of the population under age 45, it is one of the most promising online gaming marketplaces.

“A majority of Indians have realised that mobile gaming is not just a source of enjoyment or entertainment, but also a source of earning real money. Higher adoption of smartphones, wider internet access, a large number of mobile-first games, and influencers with huge fan bases are also catalysing the growth of gaming in India,” Anku Jain, MD of leading smartphone chip-maker MediaTek India, told IANS.

As developers focus on creating more women and child-led games, the gaming community is expected to grow by several folds from more exposure and innovations in the field.

“The inclusion of online games as an official sport for medal events at the eAsian Games 2022′ will be a game-changer. We will witness a steady increase in esports tournaments,” said Sean (Hyunil) Sohn, Head of India Division at Krafton, the developer of ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ (PUBG).

Indian gaming has joined the mobile gaming bandwagon due to the rapid increase in smartphone penetration in the country, with large console and PC games now being curated for mobile platforms. The sector is also attracting investments, with nearly $1 billion being invested in the sector in the last six months.

“Today, everyone is looking at digital for productivity, while entertainment, fun and socialisation is something that people are preferring offline in the real world. Perhaps in 2023 when we see more of the metaverse happening, gaming might see some newness attracting attention,” said Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst, Techarc.

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