The Indian Video Game Market in Numbers and Facts
India is a new, but still very promising video game market. Let’s take a look at its unique features and discuss which games and genres are popular and why it makes sense to localize games into Hindi.
Many publishers make the mistake of assuming that India is a cash-strapped country that can’t afford entertainment expenses such as video games and in-app purchases. Indians themselves have said that they’re not willing to pay a lot of money for PC and console games because they consider them to be a “childish pastime.” But this doesn’t apply to mobile games – an app with a decent monetization strategy can still make a lot of money in India.
Between 2017 and 2020, the size of the Indian mobile gaming market increased by 38%. In comparison, the US saw a 10% increase, and China only saw 8%. In addition, India is acquiring new paying users faster than any other country in the world – its number of NPUs increased by 40% and 50% in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Experts predict that the Indian video game market will be worth $11 billion by 2029.
Among gamers with mobile devices:
- 57% are male
- 43% are female
In terms of age, mobile gamers can be divided into three groups:
- 18–24 (10%)
- 25–44 (59%)
- 45+ (31%)
Which games and genres are popular in India?
The most popular genres in India are:
- Battle royale
- Role-playing (RPG)
- Real-time strategy (RTS)
According to the AppMagic portal, the most popular mobile games in India are:
- Free Fire: $91 mil. (6%)
- Battlegrounds Mobile India: $24 mil.
- Coin Master: $12.8 mil.
- Clash of Clans: $8.9 mil.
- Candy Crush Saga: $7 mil.
- Teen Patti Octro Poker & Rummy: $6 mil.
- Call of Duty®: Mobile: $4 mil.
- Evony: The King’s Return: $3.8 mil.
- Genshin Impact – Lantern Rite: $3.5 mil.
- Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wars: $2.5 mil.
The most downloaded games are:
- Ludo King™: $124.1 mil.
- Free Fire MAX: $87 mil.
- Carrom Pool: Disc Game: $79.9 mil.
- Bubble Shooter – Pop Bubbles: $64.1 mil.
- Candy Crush Saga: $63.1 mil.
- Subway Surfers: $56.2 mil.
- Subway Princess Runner: $54.7 mil.
- Temple Run: $50.9 mil.
- Bridge Race: 49.3 mil.
- Hill Climb Racing: $48.6 mil.
Advantages of localizing games into Hindi
English is one of India’s national languages, but the country is only 52nd in the world and 6th in Asia in terms of English fluency. India even ranks below countries that don’t have its lengthy history with the language.
India’s other national language, Hindi, is far more widespread than English. According to the 2011 census, almost 500 million people (44% of the Indian population) list Hindi as their native language. Because of this, localizing a game into Hindi makes it accessible to more Indians, which makes it far more competitive on the Indian market.
It’s worth noting that India’s RpD is significantly lower than other countries. In other words, publishers make less per user than in Japan or the US. But we’re talking about over 400 millions players here! This makes up for India’s lower RpD.
Let’s use Free Fire Max as an example. It’s downloaded most frequently in India (26% of downloads), but its core revenue (34%) comes from the American market, with India only accounting for 6% of all revenue. In terms of RpD ($0.46), India only comes in 40th, but it still comes in 6th in terms of revenue ($148 million).
Here’s a list of games that have been successfully localized into Hindi.
- Free Fire
- Battlegrounds Mobile India
- Teen Patti Octro Poker & Rummy
- Evony: The King’s Return
- Ludo King™
- Free Fire MAX
- Carrom Pool: Disc Game
- Bubble Shooter – Pop Bubbles
- Subway Surfers
- Subway Princess Runner
- Temple Run
- Bridge Race
- Hill Climb Racing
According to SteamSpy, 39 Steam games have been localized into Hindi. Most of them came out in 2020–2022.
- Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
- Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition
- Darksiders Genesis
- Mr. Mine
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Rento Fortune
- Choo-Choo Charles
- Imperia Online
- Way of the Hunter
As we’ve seen, the Indian market has a lot of interesting potential for game developers and publishers. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and the number of gamers is increasing, so more and more companies are localizing their titles for Indian users. Now that India has become the world population leader, there’s no better time to invest in this successful new market and earn the trust of the many millions of people who make up the Indian audience with a high-quality localization.