India needs a unique approach for monetising gaming: Darang Candra
Delivering the keynote at e4m GameOn summit, Candra, Director, Southeast Asia, Niko Partners, said mobile gamers in India make the most engaged market in ‘Asia-10’
The second edition of the e4m GameOn Summit: The Future of Online Gaming, which took place virtually on March 11, saw industry leaders from the gaming industry, brands and the A&M world sharing interesting insights into the gaming landscape and its future.
One of the highlights of the summit was the keynote delivered by Darang Candra, Director, Southeast Asia, Niko Partners, a leading research firm focusing on market intelligence on the video game industry in Asia.
The global gaming environment is highly dependent on Asia, Candra said. Over $81 billion is spent by more than 1.4 billion users in Asia, which is dominated by China (around $46 billion), and what Niko refers to as the Asia-10 ($35 billion), comprising 10 markets: India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.
“Gaming in Asia, in terms of revenue and number of players, is very big. Asia dominates the world game market (55.1% of the global gaming revenue), and has the most public game market companies on earth,” said Candra, adding that Asian companies TenCent, Garena, Sony, Nintendo and Netease are in the top 10 gaming companies in 2021, by market value.
However, India has a lot of catching up to do, when compared to its peers, he noted. “Out of all this amazing revenue earned by Asia-10, 80% is earned by only two countries: Korea and Japan. The other Asia 10 markets are very high in the number of players, but not so much in revenue as all of them are still growing,” said Candra, pointing out that in Asia (excluding China), 44% of the player base is from India.
So, the opportunities are immense. According to Niko, mobile gaming will come to dominate the industry, especially in Asia, and 97.3% of the gamers in Asia-10 will be playing on their mobiles in 2025, with India leading the way. “Mobile gamers in India are the most engaged market in the Asia-10, spending an average of 141.1 hours a week playing on their mobiles,” said Candra.
This also means there is huge potential in mobile marketing. As per studies by Niko, a quarter of mobile gamers in Asia-10 are willing to watch ads to help them discover new games, while one-third are happy to watch ads if they’re given in-game rewards or bonuses.
“When we’re talking about in-app purchases through mobile games in Asia, and in India, Skin/Cosmetics lead the way, followed by equipment/devices,” added Candra.
“India is the fastest-growing market in Asia-10, in terms of both revenues and players, and is set to break past USD1 billion (close to INR 7,700 crore) in revenue in our forecast period. However, India also has the lowest Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in Asia-10, so there needs to be a unique approach towards monetization, as ads and in-app purchases are done differently in India, compared to the rest of Asia,” said Candra.
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