Four online gaming fans in Uttar Pradesh launched a club for local gamers, but only women above 65-years-old can join. They help new members develop their talents in games like Clash of Clans, Rummy, Battlegrounds Mobile India, and others.
Four online gaming fans in Uttar Pradesh’s Sector 77 teamed up to launch a club for local gamers. Nilima Kalra, one of the four founders explains, “The group plays video games for two hours every day of the week. We also provide introductory tutorials for our new members.”
However, there is one key prerequisite to become a member of this club: only women above 65-years-old can join.
Without a doubt, the four founders satisfy the qualifications. Along with helping new members develop their talents in games like Clash of Clans, Rummy, Battlegrounds Mobile India (commonly known as PubG), and others, Kalra, 79, and her co-founders Manju Roy, 80, Sumita Maan, 79, and Gurpreet Kaur, 75, also aid new members.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Kalra, Maan, Roy, and Kaur started out as casual users of the app-based game Ludo King. Since then, they have expanded their interest, competence, and, ultimately, their company, across platforms.
“Funding for in-app purchases and gaming headsets are included in our membership packages. We intend to purchase VR headsets as soon as we have enough participants, Kalra told Business Standard.
Roy, the eldest member of the group, says, “My grandson is an avid player of PubG mobile, and while I was initially opposed to all the shooting and violence in the game, I quickly got addicted to it once I had played a game or two.”
As strange as it may sound, there are now many senior citizen gaming groups throughout the nation, and playing video games is no longer just for kids. It’s also not just for guys, and it’s not only for weekend visits to the arcade.
“While gamers have always been young men, the Indian gamer has changed. Today, women make up as much as 40% of gamers, and the number of players over the age of 30 is increasing. 98% of gamers choose the mobile platform, according to Prashanth Rao, partner, consultancy, Deloitte India.
According to a recent analysis by EY-Loco, there are a whopping 421 million online gamers in the country as of 2022, and that figure is projected to rise to 442 million by the end of this year. According to a poll done by the gaming-focused venture capital firm Lumikai, 98% of consumers choose mobile devices for gaming.
“Mobile gaming is accessible and affordable, making it an attractive option for the Indian market,” claims Yash Pariani, founder and CEO of House Of Gaming, a gaming technology company targeted at fostering e-sports in India.
The profile of the Indian gamer is gradually shifting because to the success of mobile gaming. According to Malay Shukla, secretary of the E-Gaming Federation, “most Indian gamers are in the 18 to 30 age group, and there is a significant growth in the number of female gamers as well, which is currently close to 40% of overall gamers in the country.”
The partner at IndusLaw, Ranjana Adhikari, adds, “Even the male to female ratio of active Internet users in urban India is nearly evenly poised at approximately 57:43 (58:42 in rural areas).”
This has also impacted the industry of professional gaming. Up to 22% of India’s 1 million e-sport participants in 2022 were female. In addition, by the end of this year, women gamers are anticipated to account for 28% of professional players.
The government’s backing and e-sports’ inclusion in the Olympics have contributed to their rise in India. According to a survey by FICCI-EY, the number of e-sports participants in India climbed from 600,000 in 2021 to 1 million in 2022 and is predicted to reach 2.5 million in 2023.
Geographical diversity is another example of diversification.
“Gaming was mostly concentrated in metropolitan areas until about 4-5 years ago,” says Varun Mahna, CEO and founder of the Dangal gaming app, “but we have seen a massive shift of the gaming market towards Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in the last couple of years.”
He claims that factors like improved internet and easy access to digital payments have significantly fueled the expansion of gaming in the nation.
Almost two-thirds of the 13,000 gamers polled for the EY-Loco analysis were willing to pay for gaming subscriptions, and as many as 57% of them were prepared to pay for in-app purchases, indicating an increase in direct financial investment in gaming as well.
Because of this, income from transaction-based games surged by 39% year over year (YoY) to reach Rs 104 billion in 2022, exceeding revenue from casual games, which grew by 24% YoY during the same time period.
Over the following four years, revenues are anticipated to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 20%, reaching Rs 23,100 crore by 2025.
According to Lumikai’s founding general partner Justin Shriram Keeling, “We are bullish on more complex AAA games being made in India,” as the country’s game developers get more experienced.