How Casual Gaming Became Serious Business in India

How Casual Gaming Became Serious Business in India
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People love playing games – whether on the go, during the office lunch break, while waiting for an appointment, or on your typical Friday game night. Games of excitement and glee are unique to people. In India, the story is no different. Over the years, as gaming interest and engagement grew, so did the numbers and market projections.

The numbers are quite impressive to the Indian gaming community. However, there are certain things that no one can neglect, such as the advent of the latest and most advanced technologies that help our gaming industry grow to the next level.

The stats of the rising gaming industry in India are something that, after seeing them themselves makes a big statement.

What Do the Statistics Say About the Future of the Indian Gaming Industry?

The number of gamers in India was about 365 million at the end of FY2020. A robust estimation is that by the end of FY2022, the number of gamers will increase and reach more than 510 million before the year ends.

However, the pandemic of Covid-19 has changed the gaming market scenario, which was not on the list before. The pandemic era increased the number of gamers even more as non-gamers started playing, and casual gamers became hardcore players.

The Indian gaming industry was estimated to be worth USD 1.02 Billion in 2020. As of now, the Indian gaming market has crossed those numbers by far. The current market value in 2022 of the Indian gaming industry is almost more than 1.96 Billion, with a CAGR of 26%. It is estimated to grow and reach USD 4.88 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 20.83% from 2021 to 2026.

When you look at what industrialists, investors, politicians, and other stakeholders say, the sentiment is primarily the same. For example, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently expressed that India should be a leader in the digital gaming market and develop games based on its culture and fable. India's business tycoon Mukesh Ambani went even further, commenting that gaming will soon be more extensive than combining the music, television, and film industries.

Let's Understand It Better!

Now take online ludo games, for instance. The ludo game became one of the most played gaming sensations during the pandemic. This number is not countable because outreach of ludo game users has increased even higher. The pandemic time gave ludo game development a new life, and many companies again included their hands to get even higher value from it.

During the pandemic, more than 800 million installed ludo games worldwide. Ludo download numbers surpassed other online games that people used to play regularly earlier. You must have heard that ludo king, 'the king of all ludo games in India,' has seen a tremendous increase in downloads and higher than before.

Not only did the ludo game gain massive downloads, but the BGMI also got huge numbers on its side, becoming one of the Top 5 best games of the year. Few games have seen a boost in their downloads.

How often do people play games, whether it's about playing outdoor games or indoor games or mobile, Pc, or Console games? You may have thought that less than the appropriate number qualifies the 'proper gaming' field, right?

Do hardcore gamers only count in real gaming, or are there more? The answer to this line may or may not be satisfactory to you. Let's research this topic in more depth.

If you are an organization, company, or startup, your number one will be establishing your portfolio plus marking your surroundings in the industry. And this can be accomplished by providing a service that has a unique proposition and serves the entire market to meet its needs.

Hardcore gamers are many in our gaming industry, and the numbers keep increasing year by year. But the main thing is that they are players who are into streaming and gaming organizations. Streaming and eSports are a completely different world and have gained massive value in India.

However, their numbers are nearly limited as not all people go that way. Some gamers do casual gaming for time passing or earning money. The casual gaming industry will reach $16.67 billion by FY2022. The number is even higher than in the hardcore gaming industry.

Additionally, many gaming companies in India target those casual gamers to improve their profitability ratio. Most people spend half of the time playing games casually on their phones, tablets, or consoles. The availability of affordable internet and smartphones is a significant driver for the growth of casual games in India.

Reports indicate that India will have over 900 million mobile users by 2023. Of the 420 million casual gamers in India, 94% play on mobile devices. More than 43% of mobile users engage with at least one casual game (per the report on a Billion Dollar Industry: Digital Games and Sports in India by IAMAI - 2021).

The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Casual Gaming Industry

As we discussed, the covid-19 pandemic was an excellent season for the gaming industry. Many companies achieved great success and many startups well-established their business. During the pandemic time, many people started playing games casually. Many people stated that casual gaming helps them overcome loneliness.

Since the pandemic days, the number of casual gamers has increased by 14%, and currently, those casual gamers play games for more than 8.5 hours per week on their smartphones, pc, consoles, and other online platforms. 36% of gamers consider communication an essential part of gaming, while 53% of users said they made new friends through gaming in the past year.

The impact of the pandemic was a downfall for our life, but it helped game development companies to outreach the benefits of casual gaming in India. Even though casual gaming is becoming a part of the core streaming sector, assisting the casual gaming industry is growing steadily.

Also, this may not be bad for the beginner gaming industry.

Monetization Model for Casual Gaming Industry

Casual sports are offered in India through various monetization models, depending on the nature of the game, the target audience, and the platforms available for their distribution. Here are some of the most popular models that are flourishing in India.

  1. Advertisement - This model is most famous for free-to-play casual games, where the game is offered to the user for free, and the publisher earns revenue by displaying Ads. Various ads are used to monetize such games as banners, native, interstitial, reward, playable ads, etc.

In 2020, the advertising revenue from casual games was INR 3600 crores, accounting for 60% of all casual gaming revenue. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29% to Rs 9.9 crore by 2025 (as per the report, Beyond the Tipping Point: A fuzee on Casual Mobile Gaming in India, 2021 by KPMG). Casual games like Ludo King and Ultimate Teen Patti use this model in their games.

  1. In-app Purchase - In-app purchasing helps users grab all the exclusive items within the game the publisher provides. This model is also the most profitable for free-to-play casual games, where publishers offer certain items purchased using an in-game store and earn significant revenue.

This strategy has become a standard revenue model for most of the games out there. According to a business of apps, 73% of gaming apps are monetized with in-app purchases, and 53% of non-gaming apps use the same model to generate high revenue. There are many types of in-app purchase revenue models that many companies use for different kinds of apps. Poker game development companies are great examples of in-app purchases. Poker games offer too many in-app purchasing options to buy coins or in-app currency to play online poker or real money poker with multiplayer. 

  1. Direct Purchases - Direct purchases are another great revenue generator for gaming apps. In this model, publishers demand a one-time charge from the users, enabling users to download the app. Only after purchasing the app can users access its exclusive internal features. The direct purchase method is considered when a well-reputed company develops the app. Take GTA V mobile, GTA Vice City, and NFS MW mobile, for instance.

A few more revenue models for gaming apps can be applied per requirements. However, proficiently using these models in your gaming apps needs a certain level that your services must surpass. Apps need to offer something that users can't resist to attract, and on top of that, it needs to grab a lot of attention from users to generate high-level revenue.

Web 3.0 Gaming: The Future

Web 3.0 is the next big thing for the gaming industry. With the power and capabilities web 3.0 possesses, it can bring a new life to AAA games, ultimately making them struggle-free. From the Indian gaming perspective, this could revolutionize creating a smooth and enhanced gaming experience. Web 3.0 and the metaverse are revolutions that are becoming more universalistic all the time - are being referred to as the future of gaming segments.

Finance and gaming are the two most prominent applications of Web 3.0 stated by many businesses worldwide. The most significant advantage of Web 3.0 is that you can use any currency (Crypto, for instance) or assets you earn in a game for other games. It is not possible with Web 2.0 as it has some restrictions. The 'play-to-earn model' is also gaining the tip of the mountain. You can earn crypto and NFTs in Web 3.0, and the more you play, the more you make.

Whether blockchain technology is included or not, the effect of web 3.0 is much better with pc and console games. As a result, the performance and productivity of web 3.0 are more effortless compared to other technologies.

The present mobile gaming industry is filled with casual games. Simple and easy, these games are well suited for devices with fixed resources and people who casually play games. Tetris, Pac-man, PUBG MOBILE, COD Mobile, and many others are among the best sellers on several mobile game lists.

We have seen the current developing platforms, networking technologies, delivery models, and game characteristics of the current mobile gaming strategy to identify trends that will lead to the future of the mobile gaming scenario. The mobile gaming market supports less complicated games. Will the upcoming mobile games reach the top and deliver the best engaging content?

Based on the highlighted directions, the future mobile gaming scenario will likely no longer focus on casual gamers. Their main target will be hardcore, or competitive gamers, casual and complex games will coexist, and mobile games will help massively use features like multi-player capabilities, social aspects, location and proximity information, and high-quality graphics that can be the possible evolution of the mobile gaming future.

According to industry experts, significant advertising dollars are flowing into gaming sectors, and the future of brand commitment is bright as the sun. A specific age group has moved away from Netflix. They are either watching or playing a sport. In web 3.0 and the metaverse, they can also interact with games. Advertisers can enable commerce in them, and create new monetization models, say, top gaming industry experts.

For instance, nCORE Games has merged with top web 3.0 and interactive entertainment organizations such as Galaxy Digital. They are investing significantly in expanding web 3.0 and the cryptocurrency model within casual games. They believe these concepts will usher in a new era of gaming that will empower users, especially in low-ARPU countries (such as India).

In the web 3.0 world, all games would be economies in their own right. The crowd will pay for the highest content, which will increase ARPU. Advertisers will also pay more because the metaverse is unique and trendy. Advertising will be the dominant form of monetization in Indian gaming. Although, this is just an idea that will take a long time to introduce in our gaming industry properly.

The Rise of Casual Gaming Industry In India

The casual mobile gaming industry is rising each year and crossing every limitation to outreach a massive amount of audience. The present online mobile gaming industry is filled with various games that are uncountable plus exciting to play. The growth of casual mobile gaming is nowhere around to slow down.

Many app and game development companies give their contribution to offering the Indian gaming industry a solution that lasts long. The future of the Indian gaming industry is more likely to move up. The Indian gaming industry targets influencers and well-known streamers to promote their apps and games.


Casual gaming might not be popular as leading streaming gaming, but from a growth point of view, casual gamers are higher than hardcore gamers in India. Online gaming platforms, online mobile games and apps, and ready-to-play terms that companies are focusing on. Therefore, casual gaming has become a new target for many online game development companies. In recent years, the casual gaming business has grown efficiently.

The above mentioned stats gave us a clear look, and sooner or later, we will see massive casual games entering the digital market. This billion-dollar industry will grow even higher; in the future, we will see gaming as a mainstream field. I hope this blog will help you fulfill your required casual gaming knowledge. If you have any queries, you can definitely ask us in the comment section.

About Author

DC Kumawat

DC Kumawat is the CEO of Orion InfoSolutions, a leading provider of IT solutions to businesses of all sizes. He has over 14+ years of experience in the IT industry. He is a passionate advocate for the use of technology to improve business performance.