Mobile gaming in India is expected to reach $8.6 billion by the end of 2027, owing to the expansion of smartphone penetration, availability of smartphones at a reasonable price and availability of more affordable data plans, according to the latest report by MoEngage, in association with AppsFlyer and AppsTweak. Titled as ‘The State of Mobile Gaming in India’, the report says that the current valuation of the Indian gaming industry stands at $2.6 billion.

"Projections suggest that the mobile gaming industry will continue to grow and generate more than $100 billion by 2023 (in terms of revenue). Needless to say, there is a vast market opportunity to tap into. But growing as well as sustaining a loyal customer base is more challenging than it seems," says Narasimha Rao, General Manager- India and Middle East, MoEngage.

More opportunities have been created for mobile gaming companies in India following policy changes by Alphabet-owned Google in its Play Store, says the report. In November last year, Google announced major changes to its Android operating system and Play Store after India's antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission of India, ordered the company to do so. As part of the change in its policy, Google said that original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) will now be able to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices.

"Policy changes from Google Play have created more opportunities for gaming companies in India. Since Google’s announcement allowing India-based real money game apps, we’ve witnessed the rise of new gaming studios challenging the status quo. Big fluctuations among the ranking of the top 50 games in India signal the level of competitiveness in the market," says Karan Lakhwani, head for AppTweak.

"An increasing number of Indian gaming studios are launching global apps, not just focusing on the Indian market. Mobile gaming brands have been early adopters of the power of localization, personalization, and competitive benchmarking. They have leveraged insights from multiple Martech tools to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Thanks to these investments, we foresee the user experience reaching a new level," Lakhwani adds.

India is the sixth biggest gaming market in terms of revenue, as per a TeamLease Digital report, with the user base in the domestic gaming industry currently at around 480 million. The report said the Indian gaming industry is estimated to create over 1 lakh direct and indirect jobs by 2022-23 and around two lakh jobs by FY24. Moreover, the industry is estimated to grow 20% to 30% by FY23. Some leading in-demand jobs across the gaming industry include developers, testing engineers, gaming animators, and gaming designers. 

To increase digital adoption through online gaming, the government in the Union Budget 2023-24 announced the removal of the minimum threshold of ₹10,000 for TDS, and taxability relating to online gaming to be clarified. 

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