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Feb 4th

Online gaming is entering an evolutionary phase in India

Feb 4th

Online gaming is entering an evolutionary phase in India

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There are several parallels in the growth story of online gaming and entertainment in India. Split by nearly 30 years and much faster, the journey of online gaming has accelerated further during and since the pandemic. From proliferation and geographical spread to increase in consumption and monetisation, as well as the role of the internet in transforming the two industries.   It is no secret that the lockdown resulted in a significant increase in the time spent on mobile phones among most users across age groups, genders, and geographies. Both for work as well as personal use, and with restrictions on physical movement, mobiles emerged as the primary medium for entertainment and socialising. And online gaming offers both.   Another direct impact of the pandemic came from the return of city-based kith and kin who went back to their towns and villages as the world switched to remote work. This included a lot of proficient gamers as well as professional gamers who influenced their friends and family to take up mobile gaming.   To decode the changes that are influencing the landscape and to get a sense of what the future holds, we at ZEE5 decided to get a consumers’ perspective about their online gaming habits and preferences.   Some of the key findings include:
  • 60% audiences play online games, player profile cuts across demographics
  • An almost equal proportion of men and women play online games
  • 50% respondents registered a significant increase in online gaming
  • 53% audiences play online games at least 5 times a week
  • The growth of online gaming in non-metro locations outstripped metros
  • Gamers are likely to make in-app purchases to progress in a game
  Another aspect at play for the online gaming industry is India’s demographic dividend and the opportunities it presents across various cohorts. Whether or not they succeed depends on how well they are able to tap unorthodox cohorts of online gamers including women and how well they are able to personalise the content and experience to be able to monetise it effectively.   The shift from free-to-air TV to paying subscriptions – first for cable and then for DTH and OTT was perhaps the biggest shift in India’s television and entertainment history. Based on the insights we have derived from consumers as part of the ZEE5 Media Intelligence report on online gaming, the industry seems to have reached that evolutionary phase.

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