Lockdown sees surge in mobile gaming in India

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 18, 2021

45% of Indians started to play games on their smartphones during this period

The onset of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown boosted mobile gaming in India, with 45 per cent of Indians starting to play games on their smartphones during this period.

This also resulted in a spike in the amount of time spend on mobile gaming and the number of apps they experimented with. Among the committed gamers, 40 per cent spent more time on gaming apps, while 38 per cent of them increased the variety of the games they played, according to a survey by adtech firm InMobi.

During Covid-19, time spent on gaming apps surged through the day as people played a lot more often, starting as early as 7:30 am till 11:30 pm. The sharpest surge in the use of gaming apps occurred at 11:30 am, with a 6.6 times increase in gameplay, it said, adding that India is the fifth largest mobile gaming market in the world.

A medium of relaxation

The lasting impact of the pandemic shows that Indians are continuing to play a lot more on their smartphones throughout the day. Mobile gaming has grown from being just a hobby to becoming synonymous with a medium of relaxation. The Gen X (45+ age group) users were seen indulging in multiplayer games to connect with family, friends and other like-minded people on the platform.

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“Mobile gaming accelerated due to the lockdown in India as people continued to shelter at place and work from home. What was seemingly an emerging trend is now a lasting behavior with 1.5 times growth in gaming users. With over 80 per cent of mobile gamers playing every day, it has evolved to become an integral part of the connected consumer’s life,” said Vasuta Agarwal, Managing Director at Asia Pacific, InMobi.

Gaming in India is no longer restricted to young men, and accessibility and affordability of smartphones and high-speed internet have made mobile gaming a popular source of entertainment for people regardless of age and location. Women constitute 43 per cent of the mobile gaming audience in India, of which, 12 per cent are in the age group of 25-44 and 28 per cent over 45 years, it said.

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About 40 per cent of the respondents said they usually play in 10-minute sessions – between meetings, chores and meals, among others – while over 84 per cent of the players spend up to an hour on mobile gaming in a single sitting.

While casual and card, puzzle and board games a popular choice among gamers, the committed players and Gen Z gamers have a greater inclination towards Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, simulation, and action games.

Published on March 18, 2021

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