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India is a populous country with 451 million yuan of monthly active Internet users and a per capita GDP of just over $2,000, making it a difficult game market for many Internet projects to make money.
So far, Cash loans and Real money games’ providers are doing brisk business in India due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the era of mobile Internet, news spreads faster than people can imagine. Yesterday, the entrepreneurs just shared the data about last month operating work in the chat group, and then the analysis article of media has come out today. Many board game developers are eager to try and become pioneers in this market.
So is there room for new entrants to do business in this huge and lucrative market? Foxuc has done some research, hoping to provide some reference for entrepreneurs who planning to enter the board game market in India.
The $1.1 billion online gaming market
In recent years, the Indian gaming market was worth $906 million with 250 million users, growing at an annual rate of about 22%, is expected to reach $1.1 billion.
In order to filter out the most accurate data, we have divided the Indian board games into three categories:
I. Real Money Game. Many gamers refer to it as real games, and most of its games are not traditional casino games, but more similar to gold mode board & card games, like Rummy, Teen Patti. The real money game consists of a small number of Sports games (eg. Fantasy Sports), which are more akin to lottery games. The market share is not high, we will not discuss it in this article.
II. Mobile Centric / Casual Gaming. Casual games like parkour, Candy Crush and so on.
III. E-sports -- like PUBG, FreeFire, etc.
Here’s a very interesting statistic. In India, the genre of games on the free game charts is mostly called casual and esports; The top grossing genres are mostly called board games and sports games. As a result, board and sports games, which account for 24 percent of the player base, account for almost 50 percent of the Indian gaming market’s revenue.
So who are the top developers in the India’s board game market?
Rummy’s market is the largest and most competitive in India, with two operators in the $10 million level: JungleeRummy and Ace2Three. In addition, there are more than 10 operators in the million dollar level.
From the overall data provided by Owler, the Rummy industry is still in a competitive state, with the TOP8 operators occupying about 35% of the market share. There are still 65% of the market share belongs to small and medium-sized operators, if board and card entrepreneurs towards foreign market have a reliable team, may wish to consider this direction.
Teen Patti is a type of gambling game played in the local Indian market. Sometimes spelled TeenPathi, which translates to Three cards in Chinese. It’s the Indian version of Chinese fried gold flowers.
There are two publishers who have done well in this category: Teen Patti Gold and Teen Patti By Octro. The revenue scale is more than 10 million dollars with tens of millions users.
Teen Patti has a relatively strong head effect, but both of these products are so old that their UI and graphics don’t have more advantages over the newer platforms.
Teen Patti by Octro
Fantasy Sports, or called Sports games. According to KMPG’s report The evolving Landscape of Sports Gaming in India, the Dream11 currently accounts for 90% of the evolving landscape of Fantasy Sports. And the difficulty of product development is greater than that of Rummy and Teen Patti, it is not be recommended for board game investors and entrepreneurs to enter the market.
Legality and License
Gambling is banned under laws enacted by India’s central government. Online gaming in a legal sense is divided into two categories: games of chance and games of skill, then games of chance (betting games) is prohibited by law. In other words, it is illegal for you to set up a cash board game in India.
Games of skill are legal except in three states: Assam, Orissa and Telangana. One thing to note about is that these games are only available on the Website in Nagaland.
So far, there are three main categories of games of skill: Rummy, Fantasy Sports, and Horse Ricing. The last one requires license, now have grown slower than Rummy and FantasySports.
The betting category belongs to games of chance, which is only legal in two states of India: Goa and Sikkim. But licences in these two regions only support offline gambling.
With the rapid development of the online game industry in India, more and more relevant laws and regulations are actively keeping up with the pace of the development of the industry. At the same time, some industry experts and practitioners need to participate in the market’s business and cooperate with each other. Only in this way can the board game become one of the healthy industries in India that will help the country’s economic growth.