Video gaming in India

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Games market of India by revenue per platform in FY 2017.[1]

Video gaming in India is an emerging market. As investments continue to rise, the video game market is expected to grow rapidly in India.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Video games play a crucial role in the development of the market by attracting and retaining customers and, conversely, cybercafés contribute to the promotion of video games. Many companies encourage video gaming in India, such as MTV, Cypher and National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) centres.[12]


In October 2005, Level Up! Games was the first to distribute a massively multiplayer online game in India with Ragnarok Online and was soon followed by others companies like Syfy with the game A3 . The latter are South Korean games whose content has been adapted in order to please the people of the country. However, these games were only modestly successful.


Like China and South Korea, India is experiencing strong growth in online gaming. With between 35-50 million internet users, the country is attracting interest from the online video game industry, which is difficult to hack.

With a turnover of $890 million in 2018, the video game sector is still underdeveloped compared to other Asian countries, such as China and South Korea. However, many video game companies are beginning to invest, and India could become an important market for this sector.[11] To conducted by KPMG, the number of game development companies in India today stands at around 275. This number was a mere 25 in the year 2010.[13]

Estimates suggest that India’s mobile games market will be worth $1.1 billion by 2020, and number of users projected to become 628 million by then.

One of the factors driving the growth of the video game market is its large number of cybercafés with more than 100,000 in 2006, 40% of which are used to play online.

Local industry[edit]

Local Indian video game studios are yet to make a significant impact in the world market mostly relegated to mobile games that have development cycles of not more than 3-6 months. Video game studios are slowly sprouting up around India, most notably in Bangalore; which is often called the "Silicon Valley of India".

Many studios in India derive most of their income from outsourcing to foregin companies. Although there are a few studios working on their own titles most of the studios are mobile based. There are a few studios working on larger projects on PC and console like Bangalore based Tentworks Interactive.[14]

Tentworks Interactive recently revealed India's first major PC title. The studio unveiled their upcoming title City Block Builder at EGX. it is set for release in 2020 for PC.[15]

City Block Builder also recently won Best of EGX (2019) in London by Cultured Vultures Magazine.[16] This marks the first time that an Indian title has won such an award in a foreign expo.


The founder of Route Mobile Rajdip Gupta is planning his eSports venture – COBX Gaming – that will invest $10 million to promote eSports in India. COBX will launch an online domestic league, and an international league besides building an Indian team for international eSports championships.[17][18]


The Indian gaming market is very varied. While there are a section of hardcore gamers, there are still many gamers playing cartridge games on TV and handheld devices. This has led to the proliferation of pirated, second hand and knock-offs to meet the needs of a diverse range of consumers with different access to money and information.[19]

With a piracy rate of software and consoles of over 80% and a penetration rate of PC still low, India's video game market has long lagged behind the rest of world, publishers and distributors of video games struggling to find their place.[20]

This delay is also explained by the fact that the country has traditionally never had a real culture of gaming. However, this situation is changing due to the increase in the average income of Indians and the increasing interest in internet and entertainment.[11]


  1. ^ "India's online gaming ind eyes Rs 11,900 crore revenue by FY23". The Economic Times. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  2. ^ Griliopoulos, Dan (15 July 2013). "Game on: how can video game developers in the global south go viral?". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Video game penetration in India is a mere 3%". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  4. ^ Sims, Daniel. "Indian Video Games Market To Exceed INR 180 Billion By 2018". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  5. ^ "India Video Games Market Outlook to 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Video-Game Industry Targets New Market: India". Fox News. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Demographics, local tastes fuel Arab video game industry". Reuters. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Indian video games industry grew 16% in 2012". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  9. ^ "An Introduction To The Gaming Industry In India ! - TechStory". 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  10. ^ "India: A growing market for game development outsourcing". 15 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b c (Stang, Osterholt & Hoftun 2007)
  12. ^ (Stang, Osterholt & Hoftun 2007)
  13. ^ "The gaming industry in India: A boom waiting to happen". 25 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Tentworks Interactive". Tentworks Interactive.
  15. ^ "City Block Builder will be playable at EGX".
  16. ^ "EGX 2019: 5 of the Best Games We Played". 25 October 2019.
  17. ^ Gupta, Rajdip (April 2017). "Route Mobile founder to invest $10 million in esports launch online league". Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  18. ^ Gupta, Rajdip (April 2017). "Route Mobile set to launch USD 300,000 e-sports league in India". Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  19. ^ * Deka, Maitrayee (2016). "Bazaars and Video Games in India" (PDF). BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. 7 (2): 172–188. doi:10.1177/0974927616668005.
  20. ^ "Gaming Is a Niche in India Because Game Retail Is Broken". Retrieved 2 January 2017.


  • Bendik Stang, Morten A. Osterholt et Erik Hoftun, The Book of Games, Volume 2 : The Ultimate Reference on PC & Video Games, Book of Games, 2007, p. 397 (ISBN 9788299737821)
  • Maitrayee Deka, (2016). Bazaars and Video Games in India. BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. 7 (2)