The Indian online gaming industry has seen extraordinary growth in the last few years. India’s projected gamer base is close to 365 million people as suggested by Statista’s reports. This huge growth in the number of gamers is driven, in part, by the surge in the use of the internet. The love for gaming ranges from mobile gaming to gaming on consoles, and it will take the industry’s worth close to INR 118 billion by 2023 as per a KPMG report.
The same KPMG report also indicates that the revenue share generated by gamers can be split into two major segments: mobile games and other games. Mobile games take the cake with an 89% share. The mobile gaming sector can again be split into three major cohorts, which are real money games, casual games, and e-sports. Real money games include games like rummy, fantasy sports, etc. which give the gamers a chance to win real money with their skills every day.
Fantasy sports or online fantasy sports (OFS) are skill-based online games that allow gamers to manage virtual sports teams made of real-life players. Gamers have to create virtual teams for upcoming real-world matches by selecting players from real teams. Fantasy sports teams score points based on the real-life statistical performance of the players on them and the winners are determined accordingly.
In the last 2-3 years, the OFS market has seen stupendous growth. The number of fantasy sports operators has increased by 7 times and the number of users has increased by 25 times, as per the KPMG report. A FIFS report says that there are more than 90 million fantasy sports users in India currently. According to the same report, 25% of India’s all gamers are engaged in fantasy sports.
Daily fantasy sports are highly sticky and offer a meaningful avenue to this cricket-crazy nation. They help Indians to connect with their favorite sport and play fantasy cricket on their mobiles and computers. A survey conducted by KPMG suggests that 74% of fantasy gamers play fantasy sports 1-3 times every week.
The survey by KMPG also sheds light on the reasons why fantasy sports players enjoy daily fantasy sports. Contrary to popular belief, these players play for fun and excitement. As many as 72% of the respondents considered “fun and excitement” to be the number one reason and “the opportunity to win money” was ranked 4th with only 30% of players claiming they are in it to win money.
The KPMG survey revealed that while the majority of players (71%) prefer to play fantasy cricket with fantasy apps, football is also seeing a rise in popularity, with 54% of respondents saying they have tried fantasy football as well.
Fantasy sports operators in India are constantly innovating to provide fantasy sports players in India with newer avenues to connect with their favorite sports. Apart from cricket, these apps are providing daily fantasy sports for football, kabaddi, etc. Fantasy sports operators are tying up with content aggregators to provide fantasy match predictions. They are also tying up with famous sports personalities and introducing new features to keep fantasy sports players entertained.
For example, the popular fantasy sports operator Howzat recently announced the on-boarding of cricket legends Irfan Pathan, Kumar Sangakkara, and Kieron Pollard as their brand ambassadors. Along with signing these cricket legends, Howzat Fantasy Cricket App also introduced a “Beat the Legend” feature where fantasy cricket players can engage in a fantasy sports contest with the legends’ teams. The introduction of the brand ambassadors and this new feature had a lot of their players excited and the app saw a huge surge in new acquisitions.
There has been a surge in the investment in fantasy sports recently, and it will be a safe bet to assume that the industry is going to grow even faster in the years to come and the competition among fantasy sports operators is going to increase. Fantasy sports operators are constantly striving to innovate and provide gamers with a unique experience. It will be exciting to see the evolution of fantasy sports apps with new features and experiences.
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