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Tuesday, April 16 2024
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Mobile Gaming Growth Impact on Real Money Gaming

Mobile Gaming - Poker
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We see very few calculators and alarm clocks being sold in the market these days. Fewer cameras too. Public telephones and even landlines are fast fading into obscurity. You might have already guessed where this discussion is headed. The popularity of mobile phones, now evolved as smartphones, has led to the replacement of many erstwhile products. Another product category that we can add to this ever-growing list is handheld and TV-based gaming devices.

Enter, Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming is a global phenomenon. However, in India, it is a different beast altogether. The overwhelming popularity of smartphones in India means that 96.8% of the Indian gaming community uses a smartphone or a tablet to play. India is, undoubtedly, a mobile-first market when it comes to online gaming.

India was home to at least 444 million gamers in 2023, 31% of whom are open to pay and/or engage in real-money games like poker, rummy and fantasy sports. If you include gamers who are exclusively engaged in real-money games, the number will go up even higher. India is also the fastest-growing games market in Asia. Nearly 97% of it is down to the availability of mobile internet and the fast penetration of smartphones in the country.

Evolution of Mobile Games

Not many would have imagined in 1997 that mobile phones would eventually dominate and take over the gaming scene. This was the year when Nokia introduced Snake as a pre-loaded game on its handsets. Inspired by its popularity, more and more smartphone companies introduced pre-loaded games on their cell phones. Fast forward to today when all gaming companies are designing games with a mobile-first approach, be it a real-money game like poker or even a puzzle game.

In a MoEngage report, it was estimated that mobile gaming in India can be valued at $2.6 billion. By 2027, this can go up to $8.6 billion. Much of this growth can be attributed to the availability of low-cost smartphones and their faster penetration, as well as affordable mobile data plans.

Pushing the Real-Money Games Industry

The popularity of online games and the preference for smartphones is working in tandem to push the real-money games industry forward. Take a look at the poker rules, for instance. It is a game of skill that challenges and intrigues a gamer in equal measure. The same goes for rummy and ludo, where strategy and decision-making are key to success. All of these games are immensely popular in the real-money games segment and have been well-received by mobile gaming enthusiasts.

To start at the very basic, the success of mobile-based real-money gaming requires a few key drivers. We have already mentioned smartphone penetration and the easy availability of the internet. To engage in real-money games, the gaming community also needs a reliable payment mechanism. And finally, they also need games that appeal to them in the first place.

What’s Driving Mobile-based Real-Money Gaming?

Out of 1.2 billion internet users in India, 1.05 billion use mobile internet plans. According to CyberMedia Research, five out of every six smartphone users in India play mobile games. According to a Lumikai research, the average hours spent on games every week is 10.2 hours among men and 11.2 hours among women. The gender ratio is 60:40 between men and women in India. The key takeaway from these observations is that both men and women actively engage in mobile gaming and gaming in general. The immense popularity of mobile gaming is also evident from the fact that mobile internet plans form the bulk of the total internet usage in India.

The importance of a reliable payment mechanism cannot be underestimated in the progress made by mobile games and real-money games. The COVID-19 pandemic saw Indians making a sudden and swift shift towards all things online. During this time, smartphone penetration and affordable internet were complemented by a massive increase in mobile gaming app downloads. But also prominent was the adoption of online banking and payment channels. Much of the success of PhonePe and Google Pay, for instance, was built on the aftermath of the pandemic. During this period, the transaction volume in UPI increased by 3.5 times.

The patrons of real-money poker, rummy or ludo platforms now had all the tools that they needed. A smartphone, internet, and robust online payment systems. And with the interesting poker rules and rummy strategies, gamers now had all the ingredients to cook up the perfect real-money gaming recipe.

Real Mobility in Gaming

Smartphones are giving real-money games the wheels to go places in terms of success and popularity. Mobile gaming is hugely convenient for the Indian gaming community, which already has access to affordable internet and reliable mobile payment systems. It is, therefore, no surprise that the real-money games industry in India is dominated by a mobile-first ecosystem. 

Photo by Marin Tulard on Unsplash

Note: Newskarnataka advises its readers to consult experts / professionals and research further on this subject, be aware of the risks involved, and comply with all locally applicable laws and regulations in this regard.

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