India was never known as a big market for gaming consoles or PC games, but proliferation of smartphones and cheaper data plans has triggered a huge surge in mobile gaming in the country.
India is now one of the top five markets for mobile gaming in terms of number of users, according to POKKT, leading mobile video advertising platform in India, South East Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. More than 222 million active gamers have been spending an average of 42 min ..
“As much as 89% of all game revenues in India were generated by mobile games,” said Rohit Sharma .. founder of POKKT. “These gamers are highly engaged; almost onethird play five days per week or more, and nearly 40% spend more than six hours per week playing mobile games,” he said.
Reliance Jio Infocomm’s disruptive entry into the telecom market and subsequent price cut by incumbent telcos boosted the entire mobile app ecosystem in the country in 2017, and mobile games rode the wave, witnessing a massive surge in usages.
Ludo King, the top game from India, has crossed 10 million daily active users (DAU) mark, while its monthly active users are at about 70 million.
Subway Surfer and Temple Run are at number two and three among top games in India with DAU of 5 million and 2.5 million, respectively
Several Asian gaming giants, including Tencent Games, are looking for investment opportunities in India.
The rapid growth in India and Southeast Asia comes at a time when big mobile gaming markets such as the US and China are saturating, experts said.
However, while globally gaming is one category where users do largest in-app purchases, Indian users are still shy of spending on games.
Even on very popular games like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans, less than 1% of daily active users do in-app purchases in India, which resulted in the game publishers opting for freemium model.
“There is a huge opportunity for a freemium model which creates advertising as monetisation medium for mobile gaming,” Sharma said. “The biggest ad form is rewarded videos, where a user can be asked to watch an advert instead of spending money. We have seen that users prefer to watch these rewarded videos,” he said.
Experts believe that while advertising is small in mobile gaming in India, it is growing fast given that gaming apps are agnostic to geography or language and have huge inventory. Sharma said POKKT’s revenues have increased 315% in the last three years and it expects it to double in the next fiscal. “We are the largest mobile video ad platform today with gaming at the core,” he said.
POKKT, he said, is working with more than 150 global brands including Unilever, P&G, Sony, Yamaha, GSK, Nestle, Motorola, Viacom, Pepsi, Oppo, Samsung, Motorola, Amazon, Coke, Samsung, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Nissan and Budweiser, and is a strong player in the programmatic space and part of PMPs of leading agency trading desks in the region.
It also has exclusive partnerships with the world’s biggest gaming company Electronic Arts — maker of games such as Need for Speed, FIFA, Real Racing, and Plants v/s Zombies — for the region.
In terms of the audience profiles, there are four distinct target groups — male 15+ (38 million monthly audience), female 15+
(21.4 million), mothers (28-40 years) and kids (3-12 years).
While male 15+ users spend 10-20 minutes per session playing mobile games per day across 4-5 sessions, female 15+ users and mothers play for about 8-12 minutes per session across seven sessions per day. Kids have an average session time of 10-15 minutes and they play 4-5 times a day.