London, Nov 4


nline mobile games have proven an instant favourite for many (young) Indians over the past decade. But recent Covid-19 related global consumption patterns show that the market is becoming a digital lifestyle cornerstone.

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Online Gaming – a Success Story Shaping Online Entertainment

India boasts the World's largest youth population which comes with a strong cultural heritage and a wide range of lifestyles. Still, both urban and rural crowds have one thing in common in their hands – a smartphone. For more than half a billion (and quickly growing) consumers, spending time and money on digital services and entertainment is becoming easier and cheaper.

With COVID-19 forcing a large portion of the global population to stay at home, it comes as no surprise that many online platforms have experienced unprecedented traffic and user base growth. As per recent business news reports, lockdown has provided a substantial lift for some in the Indian IT sector, particularly for online gaming and entertainment developers and related service providers.

Paytm First Games has increased its user base by nearly 200% over the past few months, with dozens of popular games such as Rummy, Teen Patti and Fantasy Cricket bringing the platform over 90 million App downloads. The fintech giant Paytm is primarily known as the largest mobile wallet company in India, yet it delivers a wide range of services – from e-commerce to stock trading.

A joint venture with Alibaba (via AGTech), Paytm First Games – formerly known as Gamepind – is barely over 2 years in its existence, yet it currently registers over 100 thousand new users each day, largely because of recent spatial distancing measures.

Indian online gamers have already proven their potential in growth and volume: the segment has recorded an average growth of 30% over the past few years and they have overtaken the US as the second largest game download market. Most importantly, users seem to have figured out that this convenient way of accessing online entertainment can provide them with social relief and a chance to win some cash at their favourite Real Money Games (RMG) online.

The Changing Face of Online Gambling

The Covid-19 outbreak did not only accelerate the growth of the online gaming market. Given the lack of "offline" events, entertainment outlets and social gathering opportunities, it brought upon most Indians new habits and virtual social relations, a newfound zest in gaining instant access to online entertainment.

Digital marketing agencies join gaming operators in affirming that most gamers' behavior has changed, above all with more online gaming time for at least 70% of users. Given the increased free time for the majority, consumers find that playing their favourite games online provides them "relief", a positive feeling and an "exciting alternative for entertainment."

- "A natural step during a lockdown is moving some of our habits online. The constant increase of players suggests that not only are Indians understanding the benefits of playing casino games online but also enjoying them" – Christopher Baude, CMO and co-founder at ENV Media.

More and more Indians are turning to online gaming – especially with less commuting, distance learning and working at home. Companies are not standing by idly either. Most Indian developers and offshore operators are making consistent efforts to offer local content, language versions and an emphasis on traditional desi favourites. That is also why people look increasingly to credible sources on Teen Patti variations at Guide2Gambling. Classic table and card games remain both an Indian family tradition and a socially accepted form of small-time gambling.

The Sky's the Limit

The horizon for India's gaming market of 300-million-plus users is clear yet far away. KPMG predicted even before the Covid outbreak that given the current growth rate of more than 22%, it is expected to reach almost INR 119 billion (~ EUR 1.35 billion).

People are already using games regularly to connect and socialise with family and friends – the biggest usage trend within online gaming is multiplayer mode on the rise, even for simple old-fashioned games.

Back in 2017, mobile games were already responsible for 89% of online gaming revenues. And out of the three main segments of online gaming – Mobile-centric (a.k.a. Casual), e-Sports and Real Money Games (RMG), the latter is rightly viewed by players as a potential source of some consistent economic return. Now that reputable international gaming operators can offer a familiar feeling, integrated with rupee payment and withdrawal options, we can only expect India to gain access to more online casinos and mobile RMGs.

5 Top Reasons for Playing Real-Money-Games Online

- Current technology offers a seamless experience for all game types;

- Local content and user preference are key in game delivery – languages, favourite games;

- Accessible even with cheaper smartphones;

- Variety and tradition – casino, poker, teen patti, rummy, fantasy cricket;

- Being able to play for and win real money.

Paytm Games Spike in Users during Lockdown

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