India Records Strong Growth in Online Gaming In-App Purchases
Online Casino gaming has become increasingly popular in India, mainly thanks to home quarantine measures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered a massive surge in online activity. In-app purchases, a popular feature in video-streaming platforms such as Netflix, has also made its way to online games.
In-app purchases for online casino and casual games in India increased by 51 percent for the fiscal ending March 2021. Among the most popular games in the country is PUBG which recorded a lifetime in-app purchase revenue of $40-$50 million prior to being banned in the country about nine months ago.
PUBG, an online multiplayer battle royale game, was among dozens of apps banned by India last year citing national security concerns. It made a return to the country in June.
Prashanth Joshua Mandapalli, CEO of online real money gaming company Mobius, said in-app purchases for online casual games are expected to enjoy a steady growth of 50 percent in FY22. Such purchases registered a monthly average revenue of $4.2 per user post-pandemic, up from $3 prior to the pandemic.
According to Mandapalli, in-app purchases will remain a significant segment in the online gaming market even when the global health crisis clears up.
Keerti Singh, cofounder of Indian mobile esports company Hitwicket, said their in-app purchases have also increased 3x over the last six months, with more players in the 25-35 age bracket showing interest in their mobile games. She said platforms can continue to benefit from app monetization if they manage to build a solid engagement strategy with the earning class.
Online Games Attracting More Women in India
Indian women have made a huge contribution to the strong growth of in-app purchases in the country, with majority of those purchases coming from female gamers, according to Mandapalli.
Manav Sethi, Chief Marketing Officer of Octro Inc, another local mobile gaming company, said women make up 80 percent of the players for one of their games, the Tambola.
The massive rise in in-app purchases has helped Indian gaming companies reduce their dependency on ad revenue, and it looks like it will become the new trend next year and going forward, according to Mandapalli.
While India’s in-app purchases are relatively lower than the global average at the moment with tons of free casino games available and many gamers still hesitant to pay for online gaming in the country, the KPMG said the Indian market is already beginning to show strong trends of app monetization.