The boom of Real Money gaming industry in India
The online gaming business in India has grown phenomenally over the years to become a substantial entity. It had to come across various hiccups in this journey all along. The fact that it has become a responsible entity that could compete along with other entertainment industries such as Television and radio itself is a great achievement. Few years they were unrivaled kings of entertainment. Now with the arrival of online gaming companies, they have a fierce competitor who’s giving them a run for their money.
The number of online game development companies has shot up to 250 now from a mere 25 in 2010. It's a tenfold increase which goes to show Indians are taking online gaming seriously. The advancement of the online gaming industry is mainly due to increased accessibility and awareness about online gaming
The primary factor which brought about this revolution is the increased penetration of Smartphones and the growing awareness of this mode of entertainment. Robust data connectivity has been brought about after the advent of Jio in the Indian mobile space. Since the arrival of Jio, all the mobile operators have slashed their tariff rates thereby giving more people the option of getting into the internet. In fact, after the advent of Jio, there has been a stark increase in the number of smartphone users in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Of all the developing countries, India ranks no 1 when it comes to smartphone sales. Unlike the western markets which are saturated, the Indian market presents a fertile ground for smartphone sales. No wonder Chinese mobile leviathans landed en masse and have captured the Indian market. Making Budget phones was their mantra for success.
Contrary to their western counterparts, Indians are tight-fisted when it comes to spending on mobile phones. Chinese Mobile makers have taken note of it and have produced some high-functioning smartphones with features that could even rival Apple and Samsung, albeit at a low price. It set off a massive revolution in place, and these days it’s hard to find a person without a smartphone. A midrange smartphone loaded with the best of features is their hallmark of success.
Gaming used to be the hobby of an elite few who could afford expensive gadgets and consoles. But now thanks to the availability of cheap smartphones and plummeting data prices, everyone can have a share of the pie. Average time spent by Indian mobile gamers has crossed 1 hour which is significantly more than the time spent on the online streaming platforms like Amazon Prime and NetFlix. Looking at the data, one should be clear about Indian’s love of online games is increasing.
Indian gamers are willing to spend on content provided they are engaging. It goes to how real money games have occupied a unique position in the online gaming bastion. Real money games, an emerging segment of the online gaming industry is comprised of games such as rummy, poker, trivia games, and fantasy leagues. The real money gaming Industry is currently estimated at 1500 crore and the growth rate is pegged at 30%. In less than a decade since its arrival, the segment has mushroomed over 100 companies offering real money games. Online rummy operators lead the pack closely followed by online poker and fantasy league companies.
According to a KPMG report, the revenue of the online gaming industry is projected to touch 11,900 crore by 2023. With such high growth on the cards, opportunities galore for youngsters in this field. Based on its survey from 336 gamers, they were able to provide better insights about the player’s preferences and tastes.
Apart from the fun and entertainment factor, what motivated them is the chance to win real cash prizes. The other factors which attracted the gamers were seamless gaming interface, the concept of the game, and healthy rivalry.
People say they have better luck with skill-based real money games like 13 card rummy and poker than fantasy games. With fantasy games, your outcome depends on the performance of players on the field whereas, in rummy, it’s you that is going to call the shots till the end.
With clear regulations and legal frameworks in place, customers approach towards real money games has hugely changed. They find the prospect of competing in a multi-player platform and having a chance to win as exciting. Games like online rummy, online poker and fantasy sports have become the new go-to destination for online gaming enthusiasts.
Naresh Rajaram, CTO of Deccan Games Pvt Ltd which runs the 13 card rummy game portal, Deccanrummy.com, says “Games like Indian rummy and poker are skill games that require good dexterity. Indians always have a penchant for skill games so, a game like rummy which was already popular in India even before the advent of the internet had no problems in finding takers in the online rummy revolution.” He adds “Unlike a lot of action games which loses flavor with time or fantasy games which are scheduled only on time where the real action happens, online rummy is available all time, and its appeal never falls short. Skill is the primary requirement in online rummy. And the risk factor is also less as we have tables at all rates. Players can choose the level they are comfortable with and start playing. We have left no stone unturned in giving the users a safe and secure platform to enjoy the game”. Naresh adds “Sites offering real money games needs to build the trust factor with various player protection methods at it is vital for sustenance. The legislation for online real money gaming has been stringent in India which is good to build a trustworthy brand where gamers could congregate and have fun”.
There is a lot of scope for real money games to further this considerable growth and expand its base. It includes spending a lot on marketing and focusing much on making the players comfortable in the gaming ecosystem. At present users in this segment are growing at a rate of 50% per year. The drive and craze for real money games are spurring a lot of innovations in this sector focused on improving the user experience. In the future, technologies like VR, Augmented reality and Artificial intelligence will be incorporated in these real money games to make sure gamers get a more immersive gaming experience.
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