India will have nearly 70 million Facebook users by this year-end, according to Inside Social Games.

Gaming companies are betting big on India. There is a growing user base for casual gaming culture, especially in social media space.

Of the 250 million users counted every month in this segment, 4.5 million users are from India alone.

Companies are planning to launch games that strike a chord with the Indian audience. Cricket and Bollywood themes seem to be the most popular in this segment. For instance, gaming company, Mango Games has launched a game titled “Don”, a Bollywood theme social game, according to Mr Charandeep Singh Hattar, Country Head of Operations.

New games

“We have crossed over 1.3 lakh game installations in a short span of time. Our “Don” Fan page have over 2.7 lakh ‘Page Likes' which seems to be a good start for us considering that we just entered the market in December last year. We will be releasing an upgraded version for the same later this month. Our second game called Social Rummy has also been released last week,” Mr Hattar said.

Mango Games will be launching games on iOS and Android platforms in the coming months. “At present the objective is to increase our reach and build customer base. As an industry standard one can monetize 4-5 per cent of their overall user base,” he added. Gaming companies expect the year 2012 to be big because of the fast growing Internet consumer base. According to FICCI-KPMG report, the social gaming market was Rs 240 crore in 2010 and expected to be Rs 1,430-crore market by 2014.

Net penetration

Worldwide over 500 million users play social games. In India, more than half the Facebook users (about 10 million) play social games. According to Inside Social Games, India will have nearly 70 million Facebook users by this year-end. Overall Internet penetration in India is expected to surge to 237 million users by 2015, surpassing the US and second only to China, according to consulting firm BCG.

Gaming company Games2win is planning to release two apps per month this year on both Apple's iOS and Android platforms. “In terms of content, we gave a good library of cricket games. We are taking our most popular games to mobile,” said Mr Alok Kejriwal, CEO and Co-Founder, Games2win.com.

niveditag@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on May 17, 2012)
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