A new trend is emerging in India’s online casual gaming market, and it’s one that’s brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: in-app purchases.
In-app purchases revenue rise 51% in FY21
Prasanth Joshua Mandapalli, CEO of game development company Mobius, said their revenue from in-app purchases rose 51 percent in FY2021, and is expected to stay at 50 percent in FY2022. He noted that their average revenue per user from in-app purchases increased from $3 per month before the pandemic to $4.2 after the pandemic, noting that Mobius expects in-app purchases to be a “huge segment even in the post-pandemic world.”
A similar trend is seen by Keerti Singh, co-founder of mobile cricket game Hitwicket. Singh told MoneyControl that, “In the last six months, our in-app purchases have gone up 3x. The pandemic has definitely a role to play because it has confined all of us into our homes and what is has done is it has gotten some non-gamers to try out online gaming.”
The pandemic has undoubtedly made people around the world tech savvy, prompting consumers to become digital converts as they turn to technology and the internet to go about their daily lives in the safety of their homes. In mobile-first India, more than half of its government-estimated 760 million internet users play online games at this point, making the country the second largest mobile gaming market, according to an ENV Media research that focuses on mobile devices used by Indian players the most to access their favorite online gambling platforms.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was an unexpected event for all. Yet, it turned into a factor that pushed most digital trends in the same direction they had already taken,” ENV Media analysts said. “Nowadays, the former family primetime hours are often dedicated to gaming, and this kind of fragmented, customizable, and largely free gaming experience is the new preferred pastime for many Indians.”
Consumer spending in mobile apps reach $64.9B in H1 2021
Preliminary data from Sensor Tower estimated that consumer spending in mobile apps has reached $64.9 billion in the first half of 2021, a 24.8 percent increase across both Apple App Store and Google Play store compared to the same period last year. Mobile gaming spending contributed over $44.7 billion during the H1 2021 period, making it the largest contributor in the overall consumer spend.
Whether its online lottery in India or teen patti, rummy, andar bahar, and matka, casual gambling games have been around for a long time and are incredibly popular in the country—and players are now opting to use mobile devices as “the primary medium” when they gamble for real money on websites like 10Cric.com
A LiveMint report quoted ENV Media CEO and founder Mattias Bergehed saying, “The amount of searches for mobile games have literally skyrocketed during the past 6 months. Indian players seem to prefer to play local table games such as Andar Bahar directly from their phone, instead of using traditional devices such as tablets or desktops.”
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