Singapore-based Esports Players League (ESPL), a global Esports tournament platform, announce their entry into the Indian market in April via a partnership deal with Paytm’s all-in-one gaming app, First Games (PFG). According to the agreement, PFG will monitor and assist ESPL in its rollout of online and mobile tournaments in India. The two will work together and seek out both local and global sponsorships, create media content, and provide each other with tech solutions so that both meet their specified goals.
PFG is India’s fastest growing gaming option, as the app records more than 500,000 daily players, who spend, on average, about 45 minutes per session. Once the pandemic hit, in the first month following the government-issued lockdowns, the app noticed a growth of 200%, with more than 75,000 user sign-ups per day. ESPL is a young organization founded in 2019, which has quickly managed to make massive strides and has a presence on three continents. Thus, the two seem like a natural fit.
At present, six other tournament platforms are operating in India’s Esports industry, and potential new members loom as the sector grows. ESPL partnerships with PFG should help this growth, coupled with the fact that during 2020, online smartphone gaming boom tournaments became a popular option for stay-at-home entertainment.
Online Casinos Appeal to Mobile Gamers.
As land-based gaming establishments in most countries began to close up shop at the start of March, many top digital operators such as Pure Casino Online noticed a rise in registrations. Same as with regular mobile gaming, real money game interest also sky-rocketed due to limited entertainment options. Industry experts had to revise their projections. According to an April report posted on ResearchAndMarkets.com, the online casino revenues will hit $127 billion by 2027, growing at an annual rate of about 11.5% over the next seven years.
Indian laws do not regulate betting on games of chance online. However, Indian players are free to play on foreign platforms without fear of penalty. Many residents have been doing so for years, and companies such as Alibaba are looking to exploit legal loopholes and provide such gaming services to Indian residents. Most online casinos get accessed via a mobile device, and operators develop dedicated software that allows for a stable gaming experience. Nowadays, live casino games are accessible through a smartphone, as are most digital slots. Thus, players get to carry around a casino with thousands of gaming options in their pocket, available for play, 24/7.
Many Startups Aim to Tap India’s Gaming Market
Indians have seen mobile gaming’s entire evolution, starting from Snake. Today, most of them are busy enjoying the most dominant title on the market, PUBG. Going by an Inc42 Plus analysis, in 2020, India was the world’s sixth-largest mobile gaming market, with an industry size of $1.2 Billion. The number of projected smartphone gamers is 326 million, set to rise by 40 million in the next two years. Thus, it is no wonder investors are pouring money into this sector.
Mumbai startup, Gametion Technologies, developed Ludo King, a title with 467 million downloads on Google’s Play Store. It ranked as the most installed title in India in September of 2020. Ludo King is a board game that offers terrific multiplayer gameplay complete with voice chat and support for low-end devices. Dream11 is the first Indian mobile developer to provide fantasy sports. Its products have hundreds of millions of downloads, and the company’s valuation stands at around $450 million. Other top Indian developers include Games2Win, 99Games, Octro, PlaySimple, Mech Mocha, Nazara Technologies, Deftouch, and Gameberry Labs.
Foreign companies are expanding their reach into India by harnessing the power of Bollywood Stars and Cricket. Even major gambling brands like PokerStars are shifting their sights to India, as it recently employed famous cricketer MS Dhoni to act as the face of their advertising campaigns in the country. India’s mobile developers account for 3% of all Google’s Play Store publishers, bringing their number to a total of 5,400.