Why Gaming is Not Popular in India? Current Gaming Market Situation?

Gaming, once considered a niche hobby, has transformed into a global phenomenon, captivating millions of players worldwide. However, despite its widespread popularity, gaming took a longer time to gain a foothold in India. This article delves into the factors that historically hindered the growth of gaming in India and explores the recent surge in the Indian gaming market.

Historical Factors Behind Gaming’s Unpopularity in India

Cultural Perception: In India, traditional values and societal norms often favored academic pursuits over recreational activities like gaming. The idea of gaming as a serious or worthwhile activity was largely absent.

Lack of Infrastructure: Reliable internet access, especially in rural areas, was limited for a long time. Online gaming heavily relies on robust internet connectivity, hindering its growth in many parts of the country.

Limited Local Content: The scarcity of games that catered to Indian tastes and cultural references left gamers feeling disconnected from the global gaming community.

Socioeconomic Factors: Gaming consoles and high-end PCs were expensive, placing them out of reach for a significant portion of the population.

Negative Stereotypes: Misconceptions about gaming leading to addiction and poor academic performance further discouraged its adoption.

The Changing Landscape: Growth of the Indian Gaming Market

In recent years, the Indian gaming market has experienced a transformative shift. A confluence of factors has led to the growth and mainstream acceptance of gaming:

Mobile Gaming Revolution: The widespread availability of affordable smartphones and the subsequent boom in mobile gaming changed the game. Casual and accessible games found a massive audience.

Localization Efforts: Game developers recognized the importance of catering to local preferences. Indian themes, languages, and cultural references started appearing in games, making them more relatable.

E-sports and Streaming: The rise of e-sports tournaments and gaming content creators on platforms like YouTube and Twitch has contributed to the normalization of gaming as a career and an entertaining spectator sport.

Infrastructure Improvements: Improved internet connectivity, especially in urban areas, has enabled online multiplayer gaming and seamless streaming.

Gaming Community Building: Gaming events, forums, and online communities have sprung up, fostering a sense of belonging among Indian gamers.

The Numbers Speak: A Rapidly Expanding Market

The growth of the Indian gaming market is substantiated by impressive numbers:

According to a report by KPMG India and the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), the online gaming industry in India is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2023, with a projected CAGR of 43.8% between 2019 and 2023.
In 2020, India became the second-largest market globally for mobile game downloads, with over 7.3 billion installs.
The rise of e-sports in India is evident with the launch of leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL) for mobile games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile.

Seizing the Gaming Opportunity in India

The transformation of the Indian gaming landscape from obscurity to opportunity is remarkable. Cultural perceptions are shifting, infrastructure is improving, and the gaming community is flourishing. As the Indian gaming market continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, it’s becoming increasingly clear that gaming is not just a pastime but a dynamic industry with immense potential. The journey from being a non-popular activity to a mainstream entertainment option is indicative of the power of technology, community, and adaptation.