India’s online gaming industry surge overtakes filmed entertainment as per latest FICCI-EY report

Published on:

India’s online gaming sector has experienced significant growth, surpassing filmed entertainment to claim the fourth-largest position in the media and entertainment industry, reveals as per latest FICCI-EY Report. The market witnessed a robust 22 percent growth in 2023, reaching Rs 220 billion, outpacing the Rs 197 billion generated by filmed entertainment.

Online gaming, which amounted to Rs 181 billion in 2022, is projected to have a significant upward trajectory in 2024 reported Storyboard18. Filmed entertainment, which stood at Rs 172 billion in 2022, is expected to touch Rs 207 billion by the same period.

The gaming segment has claimed the fourth-largest spot in the Indian M&E landscape. With almost a quarter of the country’s 455 million gamers engaging with online games daily, the sector is poised for further expansion, expected to reach a valuation of INR 388 billion by 2026.

The report underlines the increasing popularity of online gaming, with an estimated 450 million gamers in India, out of which 100 million engage in gaming daily. Over 90 million gamers pay to play, with real-money gaming constituting 83 percent of segment revenues.

In contrast, the filmed entertainment sector experienced a 14 percent growth, reaching Rs 197 billion. The year witnessed the release of 1,796 films, with theatrical revenues hitting a record high of Rs 120 billion.

Online gaming revenue reached INR 182 billion in 2023, with about 90 million gamers paying for gaming experiences. Despite challenges posed by changes in GST rules, larger gaming companies maintained growth rates, though at the expense of margins, leading to layoffs and shutdowns among smaller players. Google’s decision to allow skill-based real money games on its app store expanded the reach of such games, driving increased participation fees.

Casual gaming witnessed a significant 24% growth in 2023, with in-app purchases revitalizing due to the launch of BGMI. Shooting games emerged as India’s favourite genre, generating 24% of in-app purchase revenues, closely followed by strategy games. Newer genres like match and party games collectively accounted for over 20% of in-app purchase revenues.

With 100 million daily active users (DAU), gaming presents a significant opportunity for brands to engage with young, upwardly mobile audiences. Multiplayer games witnessed a resurgence, with prominent esports titles doubling to 19 in 2023, attracting 1.8 million Indian participants across 20 platforms.

India’s 455 million online gamers, make it the world’s second-largest gaming user base after China, with an estimated 100 to 110 million playing daily. The country leads globally in mobile game downloads, with hyper-casual games ranking as the most downloaded genre.

Factors such as increased smartphone usage, low data charges, rising per capita income, and the influence of gaming influencers on social media have contributed to attracting new cohorts of players. The relaunch of BGMI in May 2023, following a two-year ban, propelled it to the top rank in app store downloads in India, accumulating around 100 million cumulative players.

Gaming has expanded beyond dedicated gaming apps, integrating into media, social, and e-commerce apps, enhancing user engagement and aiding in content marketing efforts. As India’s online gaming market continues to rise, driven by evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements, it promises to reshape the country’s entertainment landscape and drive economic growth.