The Indian gaming and esports sectors are booming, and this growth is bound to skyrocket even more in the years to come. Industry estimates predict that the number of online gaming users in India is poised to grow from 481 million in 2022 to over 657 million by 2025.
With the emergence of new technologies, better connectivity, innovative products, and rapidly evolving content creation and consumption trends, the future of gaming looks brighter than ever before.
Let’s take a dive into the future of Indian gaming and esports in 2023 by analysing the top five trends that we expect to see in the Indian gaming and esports ecosystems in the coming year.
#1 Casual Gaming
A huge number of Indians are now turning to games for entertainment, leisure, and stress relief. This trend will likely spike in 2023 and beyond, as more people have the spending power to purchase powerful gaming devices, gain access to improved connectivity, and get better gaming storylines.
Furthermore, casual games tend to be more accessible and less time-consuming than hardcore gaming, but they are also becoming increasingly sophisticated and engaging. With stunning visuals, immersive storylines, and realistic gameplay mechanics, casual gaming titles are gaining popularity and appealing to a wider demographic of gamers.
#2 Better Internet Connectivity
Mobile gaming has become one of the biggest drivers of the gaming and esports industries’ growth. With more Indians owning smartphones, and the Indian government extending support for high-speed internet across even the remotest corners of the country, the popularity of mobile gaming is soaring constantly.
While the number of Indian gamers playing mobile game titles is obviously expected to increase, its growth and popularity will be further fueled by the increasing availability of affordable 5G plans and devices in India.
Considering the increased proliferation of 5G networks in India in 2023, gamers can expect to have access to faster speeds, lower latency, and better connection stability while playing their favourite mobile games. This in turn could make mobile gaming even more enjoyable for Indian gamers, leading to an even bigger increase in its popularity.
#3 Cloud Gaming
Cloud gaming has been around for a few years now, but it is expected to really take off in India over the next two years. It is supposedly one of the biggest evolving trends expected in 2023, propelling the growth of the gaming industry in India.
Cloud gaming entails the use of streaming technology to allow gamers and gaming creators to play high-end video games without the hassle of owning or installing the game. Instead, the game is stored on remote servers, and the video is streamed directly to the player’s device.
In India, the rapid growth of cloud gaming could make playing high-end games much more accessible and popular. Many gamers do not have access to the latest hardware, and cloud gaming seems like the ideal answer to this issue. This could further open up a huge opportunity for game developers and publishers, as well as more accessible gaming titles for gamers across multiple levels.
Furthermore, cloud gaming also has the potential to improve the overall quality of gaming in India by providing access to high-end graphics and better performance. Cloud gaming could help gamers get the best experience possible from their games.
#4 Battle Royale Gaming Titles
The Battle Royale genre of gaming has been gaining a lot of popularity in India since it was introduced back in 2017. With more investments and eyeballs, the popularity of Battle Royale games will increase immensely.
In 2023, the industry anticipates more innovative gaming titles in the “battle royale” genre, as well as improved gameplay. We may also see increased competition in the market as more developers try to get a slice of the Battle Royale pie.
In addition to all this, Battle Royale games are already a big hit in the esports tournaments held in India. We expect to see more tournaments hosted in the country and international tournaments featuring teams from India have recently increased as well. These tournaments will help to spread the popularity of these games even further and allow aspiring gamers to showcase their skills.
#5 Esports being recognised by the Government
On December 23, 2022, India officially recognised esports as a multi-sport event, giving it a major boost by integrating it with the mainline sports disciplines in the country. The change to India’s Allocation of Business Rules of 1961 saw the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports include esports in the category of ‘multisports events’.
This marks the next big step in supporting the development and integration of virtual sports with the Olympic movement and engaging further with competitive gamers. The sport will make its debut at the Asian Games 2023, which will be held in Hangzhou, China.
We expect to see a significant rise in the number of professional esports athletes, teams, tournaments, and organisations in the country. The emergence of new digital platforms for hosting gaming tournaments and leagues will help create a vibrant and competitive gaming community in India. As a result, it will be much easier for new and amateur gamers to break into the esports industry.
As the esports industry continues to grow in India and gain more recognition at national and international levels, we can expect to see more investment in esports infrastructure and support for professional gamers and teams in 2023.
We can also expect to see an increase in the number of local tournaments and leagues being organised by both private companies and government agencies. Furthermore, there is a lot of room for growth in the ongoing esports boom, with more international tournaments taking place on Indian soil in 2023 and beyond.