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    Exploring the Most Popular Mobile Game Categories in India

    Published on June 3, 2020

    With rapidly rising access to the internet and increased mobile connectivity in the country, the mobile gaming industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years. In the early 2010s, mobile games such as Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja with simple mechanics and a fixed price were the wave; however, in the past couple of years, games have become more complex, immersive and rewarding. There has also been a shift in the pricing structure of these games, with most extremely popular games these days being free to play, with a wide range of in-app purchases.

    Indian developers have also burst on to the scene, making their presence felt in what was a market dominated by larger, foreign publishers and companies. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the current state of the Indian mobile gaming industry with an emphasis on the largest genres and games available. We’ll also give our outlook on the future of those particular genres, and whether their popularity seems to be decreasing or increasing.

    Board Games

    Some of the most well-known board games in the world were invented in India, and now they have found renewed interest in the digital form. Board games such as Carrom, Chess Snakes and Ladders, Ludo converted to mobile are very popular in the country currently. Ludo King, a game created by a local publisher is among the three most downloaded games in India, which is a testament to the genre’s success. 8-Ball Pool, despite not being a proper board game, also has a mobile app which is famous all over the world.

    Board-mobile games are portable, easy to play, and are a great tool to kill time. Though some games remain basic with not much to offer apart from the game, other app makers have added power-ups, in-game currencies and more to spice up the experience.

    This genre has been steadily increasing in popularity over the past two years, but has been subject to a massive spike in fame in 2020. We predict this category of games to keep growing in popularity, and remain in the memory of the public for years to come due to the sheer simplicity they come with.

    Sports Games

    With India being a very sporty country, it’s not surprising to see that games relating to the nation’s most followed sports do well in the charts. Real Cricket, another locally produced game leads a pack of well-known apps centred on cricket, India’s most popular spectator sport. These games often have official licences to display the names and likenesses of renowned players, teams and nations, which add to the fervour surrounding them.

    FIFA and PES, two of the world’s best known football gaming franchises also have mobile versions of their games that are quite popular in India. Unlike board games, these games have detailed progression systems and regularly involve longer periods of commitment. They also have a number of different game modes, all catering to different times of consumers.

    It’s worth mentioning that racing games, such as F1 Mobile are also increasing in popularity in India, and could become more dominant as time goes on. Sport never goes out of fashion, and is the world’s favourite pastime, so we can’t really see this genre diminishing in popularity either, as long as gaming publishers keep evolving their product’s experiences.

    Shooting/Battle Royale Games

    Over the past two years, massively multiplayer online (MMO) games have been taken by storm due to battle royale games such as PUBG and Fortnite. Originally launched as free to play, casual games for gaming consoles and PCs, these games were ported on to mobile, and are now more popular than ever before. In India, PUBG is the most popular online game of all genres, and has a wide variety of game modes and add-ons that create a lot of incentives for people to play.

    The main issue with these games is the high amount of data required to play them, which is an issue in India, where most of the country relies on capped mobile data. To counter these issues, publishers have launched ‘lite’ versions of their games, which use a lower amount of data. These games are the most popular games in the world right now, but it’s hard to predict how long their popularity will last, as a newer fad could take over soon.

    Casino/Card Games

    Online live casino games in India have been popular since the early 2010s, with a card game called ‘Teen Patti’ being in and around the top of the charts since its inception. As time has gone on, we have seen games getting bigger and better. Online poker, slots and rummy are also extremely popular in India, and attract a lot of money in the form of in-app purchases.

    Gambling games have had a slight boost in popularity in 2020, with developers and publishers aggressively promoting their products in an attempt to garner a higher number of players. These types of games have always been popular, and we see no reason for their fame to drop in the future. With new innovations and improvements in the genre being made at a fast rate, the only direction it can go is forwards.

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