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  • Writer's pictureShivani Deshmukh

8 Growth Drivers, Startups, and Government Initiatives in the Gaming Industry

The growth of the esports gaming industry has changed the way how people play games. The growth of the esports gaming industry has seen a great number of online tournaments and players competing in different countries. The increasing number of tournaments led to the popularization of certain games and brought them into the limelight.

Video games have come a long way and now they're being played live at stadiums and arenas around the world. The growth of the esports gaming industry is high with more than 8% as compared to the textile, mechanical, chemical, vehicle, or construction industry. As time goes by, we are seeing more and more companies joining this market for their entertainment for the people involved. As more people are exposed to eSports (including casual gamers), there's also been an increase in people who watch eSports on TV and stream them online.

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Key Growth Drivers for Gaming in India

Gaming in India is currently dominated by video games such as FIFA, PUBG, and Fortnite. However, mobile entertainment apps are also becoming increasingly popular with users as they provide an alternative option for entertainment when playing video games on consoles or PCs.

The number of game-developing companies grew from 25 in 2010 to 275 in 2019. Also, the number of gamers grew from 20Mn in 2010 to 300Mn in 2019. The number of gamers and gaming companies in India grew over 10X in the last decade. To tap into the huge potential of the gaming industry, several players have entered the market in recent years. Some of these players are Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Google India, etc. The key drivers for this growth include:

  • Smartphone Penetration – There has been an increase in smartphone penetration rates across all age groups. Currently, India has 502.2Mn smartphone users which accounts for 36.7% of the population. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone users in India increased by 14% between 2017 and 2018, with more than half of all users using their phones during playtime.

  • Affordable Internet – The rising demand for mobile devices and increasing penetration rates of broadband internet connectivity.

  • India’s Young Demography- Another key driver for gaming in India is its young population. The country has many people between 20 and 34 years old, which means many potential customers may not have played a game before but might be interested in doing so now.

  • Increasingly sophisticated games with a shorter learning curve- There has been a growing demand for mobile gaming apps. The time taken to learn new games is less with an increase in technology and the gaming ecosystem.

  • The increase in social media usage - Gaming companies have recognized this trend by adding social media integration into their games so players can easily interact with other gamers from around the world.

  • A rising middle class - This population group has many different interests and hobbies, but it's also one that's growing fast and is making up an increasing percentage of the overall population. This means that more consumers will be looking for entertainment options like video games.

  • A strong tech industry - India has long been known as one of the world's most tech-savvy nations—and it's not slowing down any time soon! Games are just another way that tech companies can offer their customers new ways to use their services or communicate with other people around the world.

  • High unemployment rate - The country currently has a high unemployment rate (around 8%) and an even higher youth unemployment rate (around 13%). This means that many people would love to find a job but haven't been able to because they don't have experience working with computers or other technologies.

Promising Startups in Esports Gaming Industry

Esports Gaming Industry in India is rapidly growing and has become the second-largest sport following cricket. While we have not yet seen any significant investment from traditional sports teams in this field, some startups have emerged as leaders in their respective fields. India’s investment in 2021 in the gaming industry was Rs 9.3 billion. Here are some promising startups in the esports gaming industry in India:

1. Dream 11

2. Moonfrog

3. MPL (Mobile Premiere League)

4. Nazara Technologies

5. Dhruva Interactive

6. 99 Games

7. Octro

Government Initiatives to Boost Growth

The government has implemented several measures to push the country’s gaming sector forward, including measures that encourage developers and entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas and create new games for mobile phones, PCs, and consoles.

The government is actively promoting esports as an entertainment activity for children and adults. The government has even begun to invest money in this area. Here are some initiatives that the government has taken:

  • The government aims at promoting gaming among students across India and training them on how to develop games for virtual reality platforms such as Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, and Oculus Rift.

  • It also aims to encourage e-sports as part of an integrated sports development program, increase the number of registered players by 50%, and set up a National Esports Association (NEA) that will oversee and coordinate all activities related to esports in India.

  • The government also proposes increasing government funding for e-sports and proposes a national competition for e-sports players.

  • The government has planned to include several other initiatives like promoting competitive gaming events, holding nationwide tournaments, developing infrastructure, and providing training opportunities for aspiring gamers.

  • The first initiative by the government is to give tax exemptions to players and teams who play esports games. The government will also provide financial assistance to students who are pursuing courses related to esports. This move is aimed at encouraging more students to take up courses related to esports and making it easier for them to enter this field.

  • The government also plans on providing subsidies for tournaments and competitions held in India. This will help provide more funds for these events, which can then be used by players and teams participating in them.

  • The government also plans to invest heavily in building facilities where gamers can compete, including arenas, stadiums, and other venues where people can watch matches play out live. It also wants to create dedicated training centers where participants can hone their skills before entering competitions.


Increasingly, like the traditional sports industry, esports just keep increasing in popularity with the younger generation of people. The meteoric rise of esports has certainly bolstered investors and even non-esports teams looking to adapt their businesses to compete with this new industry. the positive factors driving this industry include the growth of internet infrastructure, ever-increasing investment in production, elevated viewership from advertising revenues and other media channels, and public interest from the demographics attracted to video games. With explosive developments, this new market segment will continue to thrive in the foreseeable future, driving major changes and development.

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