The year 2023 has been monumental for Indian Esports, marked by significant achievements and a thriving ecosystem. Some key events included the return of BGMI & Free Fire, the birth of Esports-centric societies and educational Courses, an increase in the entry of Celebrities and Brands in Esports, and more.
At the same time, 2023 saw the Indian government’s recognition & regulatory clarity around esports, alongside the inclusion of esports as a medal event at Asian Games 2022. Furthermore, The announcement of the Esports World Cup 2024 in Saudi Arabia has further promised a world of opportunities for Indian Esports.
Indian Esports’ Meteoric Rise: The Gaming Industry Clocks $3.1 In FY23
According to Lumikai’s “Leveling up: State of India Gaming FY’23” report,
“The Indian gaming industry clocked $3.1 Bn in FY23 and is set to hit $7.5 Bn by FY28. The report anticipates that the industry will grow at a CAGR of 20%, driven primarily by growth in-app purchases in casual and midcore games and growing in-game advertising revenues.”
It further suggested,
“India is home to 568 million gamers, of which 25% are paying users. The growth in paying users has seen an increase of 17% YoY. With 15.4 billion downloads in FY23, India retained its position as one of the top countries globally for mobile game downloads.”
The report also mentioned,
“While India saw the suspension of BGMI and Free Fire in FY23, in-app revenue outside of these two games witnessed a 37% year-on-year surge. ARPPU reached $19.2 in FY23, growing nearly 10x since FY19. This was on account of steadily increasing monetization across other casual and mid-core games, indicating a growing propensity by Indian gamers to explore new IPs.”
A survey of over 2000 gamers in India reveals some exciting trends and preferences. Most gamers are young adults aged 18-30, with a balanced gender ratio of 60:40. They play games mainly for relaxation and socialization and are sensitive to ads and objectives. The survey also shows that gaming is not limited to metro cities but is also expanding to non-metro regions.
The industry is also attracting more investment and support from global players. Mixi, Sony, and KRAFTON are examples of strategic investors who have launched funds, incubators, and programs to nurture local talent and innovation. India is also emerging as a game development hub, with several studios producing quality content for domestic and international markets.
Thanks to the digital transformation and growing recognition of its potential, India’s gaming industry is on the rise. According to Niko Partners, India’s video game revenue will reach $868 million in 2023 and $1.6 billion by 2027, making it the fastest-growing market in the world. The report covers all platforms and excludes real money games, which are regulated separately by the government.
The number of gamers in India across all platforms is forecast to reach 444 million in 2023, up 12.1% YoY, and reach 641.2 million in 2027, growing at a 5-year CAGR of 10.1%, says the report.