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From leisure to living: The gaming scene in India

Gaming in India has come a long way. The medium is no longer seen as a child’s plaything, but as something that people from all across the age spectrum can enjoy. In fact, gaming as a career path is now a legitimate option. Its popularity seems to have skyrocketed in the past year, more so because of the rise of PUBG Mobile. By the end of 2018, it was reported that the game had a daily active player base of 30 million worldwide, even bagging India’s ‘Fan Favourite game’ in Google Play’s Best of 2018 awards.

The rise of gaming in India isn’t just limited to PUBG Mobile, although it is heavily influenced by it.

In 2018, we conducted the Digit Gaming Survey to take stock of the gaming industry and gamers in India. The survey had a total of 2,524 respondents and gave us a very interesting glimpse at the state of gaming in India. Here’s a look at some of the results from the survey:

The popularity of PUBG

There are several reasons why the game became so popular in India. A part of it could be because the game can be installed on most smartphones available in the market and that the game is free to download. This might have prompted many players to at least try the game since they didn’t have to invest money into it – something they would have to do if they wanted to play the same game on PC or console.

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The popularity of PUBG Mobile was also pretty evident in the survey. While only 58.4% of the respondents agreed to playing battle royale games on their PC/laptop, 88.3% people said that they played PUBG on their phones.

The rise of PUBG Mobile in India draws its roots from the growing smartphone ecosystem in the country. While smartphones, loaded with high-end features, continue to be available at affordable prices, what’s affecting this trend more is the surge in mobile internet speeds. Airtel 4G for instance, has been leading the internet speed ranks for over two years, clocking in speeds more than 11.2 Mbps according to Ookla. Fast internet speeds like this are crucial for playing high-end online games like PUBG since slow speeds would result in a very poor game-play.

Gamers are a young demography

One of the first things that the survey showed was how skewed the demographics were. Of the 2,524 respondents, age was majorly skewed between 18 and 34. 65.7% of the respondents were aged between 18 and 24, while 25.6% of the respondents were aged between 25 and 34. Those under the age of 18 made up only about 8%. From a gender perspective, only eight were female, which made up 0.32% of the respondents, while the rest were males.

Majority of gamers were students with 61.5%. Working professionals made up the next biggest majority at 27.8%. Interestingly, there were some respondents who claimed to be retired or homemakers. Both made up 0.12% of the responses.

Smartphones causing the gaming industry to boom

One interesting, although suspected, thing that the survey revealed was that a majority of the gamers played on smartphones. 77.22% of the respondents played games on smartphones, while 74.92% played on PCs or laptops (some played on smartphones as well). However, only 19.85% said they played on a console alongside other options.

Gaming on smartphones is very addictive

When asked about how long the gamers played in a single stretch, 48.9% said that they played for one to three hours in a single go on their smartphones. 41% said that their gaming sessions on their phones lasted less than an hour. The survey revealed that a majority of gamers tend to play for one to three hours at a stretch, regardless of whether they play on a smartphone, PC/laptop, console or a handheld.

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