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Indian online gaming industry to reach $1 billion by 2021: Google, KPMG

The number of online gamers in India will grow to 310 million by 2021 from the current 120 million, offering a huge potential for developers

Google-KPMG recently launched a report, Online Gaming in India: 2021, which highlighted the growth opportunities in the digital gaming industry in India. The report projects that the online gaming industry in India is expected to gain momentum and grow to US$1 billion by 2021, from the current US$360 million, at a growth rate of 20 per cent. With a 117 per cent spike in searches for online games by Indians, it is estimated that the current online gamer base of 120 million gamers in 2016 will grow to 310 million by 2021.

Key insights from the report are as below:

  • One-third of the gamer’s online entertainment wallet is spent on games
  • Up to six different games are simultaneously played by young gamers
  • 75 per cent gamers have phones below Rs 20,000
  • Over 50 per cent of gamers are influenced by referral and peer group
  • Heavy gamers dominate strategy games
  • Casual gamers opt more for puzzle games
  • 25 per cent of gamers don’t associate a value paying for/in a game

Till date, the gaming industry has seen a 2x growth in online gaming searches (y-o-y, March 2017); 22x revenue generated by top 100 freemium games over paid apps; 70 per cent of searches are from mobile devices and 60 per cent of revenue in top 50 gaming apps is driven by strategy puzzle and action genres.

The prediction for 2021 is a $1 billion market for online gaming by 2021; 3310 million online gamers by 2021. The report says that three things will drive the growth for the same – localisation, rising digital payments and smartphone penetration.


The ‘Online Gaming in India: 2021’ report provides a detailed overview of the online gaming industry in India, its potential growth, the challenges and growth opportunities for developers. In addition to this, the report highlights the consumer insights in terms of demographics and their gaming preference, their usage and spending patterns.

The methodology used in this report is based on primary qualitative and quantitative research executed by IMRB that covered over 3,000 respondents across 16 geographies, including metro and non-metros to understand the importance of the triggers, barriers and perceptions among the online gamers and non- gamers. These geographies include Delhi-NCR, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Guwahati, Agartala and Shillong. The respondents are in the age group of 16-45 years who are owners of smartphones and tablets/laptop/PC with internet connection of all devices. Insights from the primary research have then been combined with KPMG in India’s proprietary sizing model as well as Google search trends and KPMG in India’s industry intelligence.



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