Facebook aims to cash in on India’s online gaming boom

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With Facebook’s first-ever gaming showcase in India, Press Start, set to be held on Tuesday, the social networking giant seems to be training its eyes on the Indian gaming market which has shown tremendous potential over the past few years especially post the pandemic.

The online gaming boom, which is largely attributable to the pandemic-induced lockdown measures is one of the fastest-growing markets.

Manish Chopra, Director, and Head of Partnerships, Facebook during an interaction shared that the company is envisioning a gaming ecosystem that includes not only creators but also game developers and publishers.

“What we’ve seen is gaming trends are so secular that it takes time for creating the right kind of ecosystem, and creates time for having the right set of partners and creators who are coming on board,” he said to Indianexpress. “We are really committed to building the gaming community in India.”

According to Q1 2021 research by Indian mobile advertising company InMobi, India is the world’s fifth-largest mobile gaming market, The company has estimated that 44% of India’s smartphone users are likely to be playing games on their phones by the year 2022. Close to about 380 million people play games and 200 million watch others play video games each month on Facebook.

“This [gaming] is a core area by itself. It’s not like an offshoot of an entertainment strategy. It fulfills the entertainment use case but if you look at it from a broader perspective, gaming has fundamentally been a unique use case,” Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India told

The gaming sector in India attracted an investment of $544 million during August 2020-January 2021 according to a KPMG report. Facebook’s emphasis on gaming is evident from the way gaming sections on the application are popping up with unfailing regularity with tons of live streams and gaming options being built each day.

Last year, the tech giant introduced a dedicated Facebook Gaming tab that allowed users to play instant games, watch gaming videos from their favorite streamers and connect with other members through gaming-related groups. Facebook also launched a standalone gaming app called Facebook Gaming in April last year.

Facebook is also tying up with gaming video creators and game publishers to give a leg up to its game streaming service.

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Chopra also shared their plans to bring diversity onto the platform. Regional language content is an important aspect for the company in the days ahead. “We’ve seen a lot of content in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Punjabi really do well on our platform, apart from English,” Chopra said to

“We’ve been working with the top creators/gamers as well as a lot of nano and micro creators to be able to expand their presence on Facebook…We’ve also been partnering with large AAA gaming publishers like Garena and Krafton for bringing gaming content on Facebook,” he added.

Empowering creators and gamers, Facebook has also allowed them to earn money through in-stream ads on their live streams and on-demand content. Additionally, Facebook also has tools like fan subscriptions and virtual tips for established gaming creators through its creator programs like Level Up and invite-only managed partner programs.

Since there are about 340 million Facebook users in India alone, the social media giant sees a massive opportunity to increase the number of new users using its platform through Facebook Gaming.

In fact, over 234 million gameplay sessions have been recorded on Facebook from India during July and August this year, making this country the third biggest market in gameplay sessions.

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“There’s a lot of growth that has happened in gaming in the last couple of years, especially in India. What started off in the early days of the pandemic, has actually matured into a very secular growth that’s continuing to develop and grow” Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships at Facebook said in a press interaction.

India’s mobile gaming market is set to more than triple in size to $6-7 billion by 2025, from $1.8 billion in 2021, according to a recent report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), RedSeer, and OnePlus.

Facebook has been progressively sprucing up the gaming quotient for users by expanding beyond social games. It has added a host of new features and services including game streaming, virtual reality (via Oculus), and cloud gaming among others.

According to the social media giant, PUBG Mobile was the most streamed game by its gaming creators in India during July-August 2021, followed by Garena’s Free Fire, Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V, PUBG Battlegrounds, and Moontoon’s Mobile Legends.