Indian smartphone users are spending more time playing games on their smartphones than binging new shows on Netflix. According to data from the Mobile Marketing Association’s Power of Mobile Gaming in India report, three out of four gamers in India play mobile games at least twice everyday.
Gaming is becoming such a big phenomenon that it is now eating into the time spent by Indians on prime-time TV. “With over 250 million mobile gamers, India is one of the top five gaming countries, globally,” the report said. The report also notes that most gamers were found to play the most in the 7pm to midnight slot. It is also no wonder that most gamers acknowledged PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) as the game they played the most.
According to a survey by Jana, a mobile advertising company, nearly 62 percent of the 1,047 respondents said that they played PUBG, which won accolades at the recently concluded Game Awards as well. PUBG’s success can be owed to the launch on mobile platforms like Android and iOS in March. Indian gamers say the battle royale-style multi-player game does not disconnect them but rather serves as a platform to connect with players from across the globe.
PUBG and Fortnite have taken the gaming industry by storm, and have created a new following for battle royale games. These games not only allow their users to connect with players across the globe but also allow them to do voice chat with the team.
The popularity of PUBG is at such a height that Vellore Institute of Technology recently issued a circular banning its students from playing the game on its campus. The move is strictly in contrast to all the PUBG championship being held around the world. The game has led to creation of a PUBG-themed restaurant and even a PUBG-themed pre-wedding shoot by a Pune couple.
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YouTube, the popular video-streaming platform from Google, recently dropped its Rewind 2018 video, which was designed around the theme of Fortnite. India’s fascination with mobile gaming took shape in 2016 when Pokémon GO was launched for mobile platforms.
The report says apart from games like Fortnite and PUBG, Ludo King, the classic board game has also emerged as a popular game franchise. It recorded over 180 million installations in 2018. Today, even the cheapest smartphone is a good gaming device and as a result, there is a massive growth in gaming in tier-2, tier-3 cities and rural areas,” Rajesh Rao, CEO of Dhruva Interactive and Chair of India Game Developers Conference, told ToI.