India’s online gaming industry to reach $1 bn by 2021: Report

India's online gaming industry is expected to reach $1 billion by 2021 from the current $360 million, growing at a brisk 20% per annum, says a report brought out by search giant Google and consultancy firm KPMG.

Besides, the current online gamer base of 120 million will swell to 310 million by 2021, with localisation, rising digital payments and better smartphone penetration driving growth, the report, titled Online Gaming in India: 2021, adds.

Interestingly, gamers are already spending as much as a third of their online entertainment wallet on games. The report also revealed that 75% of all gamers have phones that cost under Rs 20,000.

The freemium strategy of gaming companies seems to be working, with the top 100 such games generating almost 22 times revenue that of paid games. Roughly 60% revenue for the top 50 gaming apps is driven by strategy, puzzle, and action genres.

The report was based on responses from over 3,000 respondents across Delhi-NCR, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Guwahati, Agartala and Shillong. All respondents were in the age group of 16-45 years, and owned a smartphone/laptop/PC with Internet connection.

According to a survey of mobile gamers conducted last year by Gamesbond.com (which is operated by Mauj Mobile Pvt. Ltd), women have raced past men on several parameters such as frequency of playing and monthly mobile game downloads, among others.

Online gaming startups have seen some investment activity over the past few months.

Bangalore-based mobile gaming startup Mech Mocha Game Studios Pvt. Ltd raised $5 million (Rs 32 crore) in its Series A round led by venture capital firms Accel Partners and China’s Shunwei Capital last month.

Earlier this year, Udupi-based gaming startup 99Games Online Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed amount from Japanese investment firm Dream Incubator. Existing investors Ascent Capital and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round.

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