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India’s online gaming industry pegged to grow by 41 percent

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India has been in the crosshairs for more and more major industries eyeing up the 1.3 billion population as potential markets. One of those industries is the burgeoning gaming industry, particularly online gaming, which is pegged to grow at a healthy rate of 41 percent in 2021.

We explain why India has seen such a growth in the online gaming industry:

A leg-up on technology and innovation

India’s rapidly rising penetration of fast connectivity is poised to strengthen further with the arrival of 5G, which is expected to speed up response times, which is crucial to online gaming.

Also, the large customer base and the massive workforce has encouraged top foreign companies to team up with Indian software companies. A Chinese company is reportedly planning to invest $10m to develop gaming companies based in India, while many top European gaming companies such as Ubisoft have expanded their offices to India, increasing global involvement and making India a busy hub for latest technology innovations and breakthroughs.

Second-largest market

With 500m smartphone users, India is the second-largest market in the world when it comes to app downloads and as such, there are over 400 gaming startups in the country. As per Maple Capital Advisors Managing Director Pankaj Karna, the industry saw a 22 percent growth this year and will continue to rise by 41 percent in 2021, thanks to the growing digital infrastructure we mentioned earlier and also due to the increasingly engaging content being put out.


It was already on a steep upward curve but with the global virus-induced lockdown keeping people at homes and unable to partake in outdoor activities such as sports, eSports have seen a huge surge in popularity in 2020, with ever-increasing prize pots and involvement from big names and celebrities.

Indian companies have begun leading the way for fantasy and eSports gaming, with funding levels reported to be around $450m. With companies like Mobile Premier League organizing gaming tournaments that have produced heartening stories like young chess player VS Rathnavel winning 253 chess games in 12 hours and taking home the INR 5 lakh rupee prize.

With ever-faster modes of communication, a rapidly growing user base and a healthy influx of companies and funding and, India’s online gaming industry is riding a rollercoaster ride to the skies.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Ariel Timy Torres

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