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Feb, 2019      |     By Anil Kumar, Ujjwal Chaudhry, and Pankaj Singh Bhati

LEVELUP | Online Gaming in 2022: A USD 5 billion opportunity and 4X of growth

USD 450-500 Mn Mobile App based Gaming industry is expected to grow at 40-45% CAGR to reach USD 1.8-2 Bn

Anil Kumar


Ujjwal Chaudhry


Pankaj Singh Bhati


The Digital gaming industry in India is at an inflection point where it is becoming a sizable opportunity for both Indian as well as international players. The ~USD 1-1.2 Bn industry today is expected to reach USD 4.5-5 Bn by CY 22. Further, the impact of the industry is multi-fold on the economy in terms of revenue and skills spill-over as well as in terms of job creation and growth of ancillary industries like design and payments, among others.

1. India's digital gaming market - CY18-22F

There are broadly 3 segments within the larger scope of digital gaming:

Mobile-app based Gaming:

This has the largest user base low barriers to entry. Majority of audience is formed by casual gamers. There are 2 kinds of apps in India:

  • Free Games (which monetize through in-app purchases or some form of advertising)
  • Paid Games (which monetize through an app subscription fee)

Real-money Skill-based Gaming:

This consists of games where players use real-money for playing. While this has seen growth in the past couple of years, the regulatory and ecosystem restrictions continue to be there. The most common forms of this segment are:

  • Card based games (Poker, Rummy etc.)
  • Fantasy Sports games

 PC and Console based Gaming:

The players are typically more evolved here compared to mobile gamers, and the monetization per user is also considerably high as users invest in both hardware and software.

2. Structure of Indian Digital Gaming Industry

Ensuring the growth of the Digital Gaming industry in India will require coordinated efforts from the industry as well as policymakers.

The level 1 of opportunities can be unlocked by promoting growth via nurturing higher demand and increasing supply quality. This, in turn, can be achieved by focusing on the following key factors: 

  1. Higher inclusion of under-served demographics such as women.
  2. Greater focus on context and context localisation (eg: vernacular).
  3. Shifting from outsourcing to IP creation.

Similarly, the level 2 of opportunities can be unlocked by promoting growth through policy interventions and partnerships, which, in turn, can be achieved through the following steps: 

  1. Financial and community support for developers and publishers.
  2. Partnering with Educational institutions.
  3. Leveraging existing policy initiatives.