Jaipur, Pune, Lucknow and Patna Complete the Top 5
The recently released India Mobile Gaming Report (IMGR) for 2021 by the Mobile Premier League (MPL) highlights Delhi as the biggest provider of online gamers in India, followed by Jaipur, Pune, Lucknow and Patna. Thus, Delhi comes up as the only metro city in the Top 5 according to the number of residing online gamers, as Mumbai and Bengaluru get sixth and seventh place respectively, and Kolkata is back down at the twelfth position.
“Delhi, Jaipur, Pune, Lucknow and Patna have emerged as the top five cities in India in terms of the number of online gamers,” says the statement of the esports and skill-based gaming platform MPL. “Cities such as Pune, Lucknow and Patna, saw a huge number of players taking to mobile games in 2021, toppling big cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.”
According to the MPL IMGR report, top played games in the country over the previous year include the likes of Carrom, Fruit Dart, Fruit Chop, Runner No. 1 and Block Puzzle. Esports titles such as Chess and Pool also recorded sharp growth in user base with the MPL platform alone clocking in 1.3 million esports players in 2021. The Mobile Premier League registered close to half a million games played over the year and an impressive 17 million live views.
Esse N Videri Reports Similar Results for Online Gambling
A recent study by RMG and casino market experts Esse N Videri (ENV) Media on territorial online gambling traction in India reports similar results and reveals that more than two thirds, or roughly 70 percent, of all desi online gamblers have been supplied by seven states and their major cities, according to an analysis of ENV’s proprietary geographical Google Analytics data.
Online users from Maharashtra with Mumbai and Pune (17.4 percent), Telangana and Hyderabad (9.9 percent), West Bengal and Kolkata (9.3 percent), Karnataka and Bangalore (9.3 percent), Uttar Pradesh and Lucknow (8.2 percent), Tamil Nadu and Chennai (8.1 percent), and the National Capital Territory of Delhi (8.1 percent), add up to 70.3 percent of all consumers of casino games online in India.
Online Gaming in Tier III Cities Grows Strongly in 2021
The Mobile Premier League report reveals strong growth rates during 2021 in the number of online gamers in India’s Tier III cities and towns, often measuring between a 100 and 200 percent rise over the figures from 2020. Online gamers in Sri Ganganagar in the state of Rajasthan grew by 52 percent, those in Siwan in Bihar rose by 123 percent, and the number of gamers in Baima Nagoi in Chattisgarh jumped by an impressive 179 percent.
Other small towns, including the likes of Rajasthan’s Alwar, Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, and Gujarat’s Palanpur, also showed substantial rises in the number of new gamers. In overall, the Top 30 of India’s Tier III cities and towns came up with growth rates in online gamer user base of up to 170 percent.
Indian Online Gaming Market Projected to Grow Further
A recent report by global consultancy company EY places India’s online gaming industry as the fourth largest Media and Entertainment subsector in the country in 2020, featuring a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 27 percent. The report expects the size of the nation’s online gaming market to exceed $2 billion by 2023, having crossed the $1 billion threshold in 2020. Past figures show a size of $543 million in 2016, and $616 million in 2018.
The total number of online gamers, estimated at 36 crore as of 2020, is projected to grow to 51 crore in 2022, with 85 percent of all gamers playing on mobile. The number of players of online real money games is expected to almost double and reach 15 crore by 2023, coming from an estimated 8 crore as of 2020.
According to EY, driven by favourable young and tech savvy demographics, and further fueled by the Covid-induced stay-at-home restrictions, India’s online gaming industry “has the potential to scale quickly and become a significant contributor to government’s vision of a Trillion-dollar digital economy.”
Disclaimer – We don’t endorse online gaming. Readers may participate at their own risk.