Online Gaming in India: From surge of mobile gaming to incorporation of AI, key trends to look out for in 2023

Online Gaming in India: Online gaming is in its evolving phase and India has been contributing significantly to its growth. According to a report by KPMG, there are over 420 million online gamers in India. According to data, India currently accounts for 50.2 percent of all the top 10 Asian nations. In order to understand more about this industry, Zee Business spoke to Deepak Gullapalli – Founder & CEO, Head Digital Works. Gullapalli feels that the incorporation of artificial intelligence into gaming experiences will be one of the trends to watch in 2023.

Here are excerpts:

What are the key technology trends that have steered the growth of the industry?

The online gaming industry in India is currently dominated by mobile gaming technologies, as more and more people are using their smartphones to access and play games. This is due in part to the increasing affordability and improved performance of smartphones, which now have better graphics and faster processors that can handle more demanding games.

In addition, the adoption of technologies such as UPI payments, biometric security, and 2 or 3-factor authentication has made it easier for people to play real money games like rummy, and the use of blockchain-based technologies has provided players with greater security and reliability. According to Lumikai, the average person in India spends 40 minutes a day playing casual games, and with faster connectivity, advanced features, and improved data security measures, the industry is poised for even more growth and potentially even a rise in full-time professional gaming careers.

How do you think the pandemic affected gaming in India?

In the past few years, especially post-pandemic, the gaming industry in India has strengthened its foothold in the community. Mirroring this growth, as a company, we are growing at an average of about 35-40 percent CAGR. Along with improved awareness, users have a wider acceptance and understanding of the technological innovations in the gaming space. The pandemic has fueled a boom in the gaming industry in India, especially driven by mobile phones. Data from market research firm Niko Partners shows that India currently accounts for 50.2% of all in the top 10 Asian nations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the online gaming industry in India, with a marked increase in the number of players seeking out online real-money gaming options as a form of entertainment and stress relief. As the pioneers of online gaming in India, we have seen firsthand the growing demand for games and have worked to adapt our offerings to meet the needs of our players. I believe that the pandemic has highlighted the importance of online gaming as a form of entertainment and has seen a surge in interest from both experienced and new players.

Can you tell us how ‘skilled-based’ online gaming has evolved in India?

According to a report by KPMG, with more than 420 million online gamers, India now stands second only to China. One aspect of online gaming that has particularly gained popularity in India is skill-based gaming, which refers to games that require a certain level of skill or strategy to be successful.

Rummy is a classic example of a skill-based game that has been popular in India for many years. It involves players drawing and discarding cards in an effort to form sets and sequences, with the goal of getting rid of all their cards before their opponents. Rummy requires players to have a good memory, strategic thinking, and the ability to predict their opponents’ moves in order to succeed.

In recent years, the online gaming industry in India has seen a rise in the number of skill-based games being offered, including games such as poker, chess, and fantasy sports. These games require a higher level of skill and strategy compared to games of chance and have gained a large following among players in India.

Overall, the evolution of skilled-based online gaming in India has been driven by the increasing prevalence of the internet and mobile connectivity, as well as the growing popularity of esports and competitive gaming. With more and more people turning to online platforms for entertainment, it is likely that skill-based gaming will continue to grow in popularity in India in the coming years.

What are some trends to look for in 2023 with regards to the gaming industry?

The gaming industry is a constantly evolving space, and it’s exciting to see what new trends will emerge in the next few years. I am particularly interested in the growth of mobile gaming. With the widespread adoption of smartphones, it’s no surprise that more and more people are turning to their devices as their primary gaming platform. In fact, mobile gaming is expected to account for more than half of the global gaming market by 2023, making it a key area for growth and innovation.

Another trend to watch in 2023 is the incorporation of artificial intelligence into gaming experiences. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with games, bringing a new level of immersion and interactivity. Overall, the future of gaming looks bright, and I can’t wait to see what new trends and technologies will emerge in the coming years. Whether it’s mobile gaming, AI or anything else, I am confident that the gaming industry will continue to innovate and bring new and exciting experiences to players.

How do you think 5G will transform the gaming landscape in India?

When it comes to online gaming, delivering a smooth gameplay experience is key. In a mobile-first gaming market like India, the 5G rollout is sure to enhance this experience exponentially. Ultra-fast response times, zero latency between input and game response, seamless multiplayer gaming and the shift to cloud gaming solutions are some of the potential by-products of India’s 5G journey. As the services are rolled out across the entire nation, they will attract users from the heart of ‘Bharat’ to participate in online gaming in a seamless manner. Increased bandwidth will also make significant strides in revolutionizing streaming experiences of online games which is an upcoming opportunity that has already been tapped in the west.

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