In this article, you will learn how the COVID-19-led pandemic accelerated the adoption of ‘casual online gaming’ in India. Bear in mind, that this trend is creating a conducive environment for the likes of Nazara Technologies, Delta Corp. Without a further ado, let’s begin.
What is casual gaming?
For starters, there are two broad segments of games – Hardcore and Casual games. The games professional gamers play are called hardcore games and the games regular people play fall under the casual games segment.
The term casual gaming refers to video games that do not demand substantial time investment to play, win, and enjoy. A casual gamer is a player who likes to play video games to pass time and with no time commitments. Examples of casual games are Ludo King, Subway Surf, Temple Run, Hill Climb Racing, Howzat Fantasy Cricket, Candy Crush, and more.
COVID-19 – An Opportunity in Disguise
The online gaming industry in India was growing at a rapid pace. The COVID-19-led pandemic added more fuel to it. From ~250mn gamers at the end of FY18, the number of gamers in India grew to ~433mn in FY21. India today has the second largest base of gamers in the world after China.
The industry achieved this growth on the back of technological developments, rising internet penetration, the ready availability of low-cost smartphones, and a rapid expansion in the supply and quality of games. India rapidly moved from merely a service provider to an end-to-end developer of video games.
The pandemic became a tipping point for online gaming in India. The pandemic-led lockdowns forced billions of people to stay indoors, with little to no means of entertainment. These days, people play video games for entertainment or to pass time.
The pandemic turned out to be an opportunity in disguise for the likes of the gaming industry. Though there has been some normalization since the early days of the lockdown during Q1FY21, most of the key metrics are operating at a higher new normal when compared to the pre-pandemic era.
The casual online gaming industry is on a significant growth trajectory across user and monetization metrics. With growing digital penetration and maturity in the Indian gaming industry, it can pose a strong competition to other forms of media and entertainment.
Advantages for companies like Nazara Technologies
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara Technologies debuted on the Indian stock markets early this year on 17 March. The company is a leading India-based diversified gaming and sports media platform with a presence in India and global markets like South Africa and North America. The game maker and publisher develop two types of games- ‘Free to play and ‘Real money games.’
Nazara Technologies owns some of the most recognized titles, including WCC (World Cricket championship), Carrom Clash, Motu Patlu King of Hill Racing, Halaplay – Sports Fantasy, Qunami (Real money social quizzing), etc.
Casual game developers dominate the online gaming industry in India with ~40% market share. In FY21, casual games brought in Rs. 60.2Bn in revenues followed by real money games (Rs. 49.8Bn), Online Fantasy sports (Rs. 24.3Bn), and Esports (Rs. 1.7Bn).
An interesting fact is that Nazara Technologies develop games that cater to all four segments of the Indian gaming industry. Nazara Technologies is not the only listed gaming company in India. Delta Corp, a company engaged in the Live Casino and hospitality sector, is also listed on the Indian exchanges.
Delta forayed into online gaming through its acquisition of Gauss Networks Pvt. Ltd., which operates the online poker site ‘Adda52.com’. For those who don’t know, Adda52.com is India’s leading poker site, which involves playing with real money.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of casual games among Indians. We expect the trend to continue in the future as well. Until now, we had not seen any gaming company being listed on the stock exchange. However, times are changing.
After Nazara Technologies, Paytm, which also has a gaming subsidiary called Paytm First Games has filed for an IPO. This is proof that the Indian gaming industry is also getting matured.
According to a KPMG India report, the Indian gaming industry is expected to grow to Rs. 290Bn by FY25 with a user base of 653Mn gamers. And the companies to benefit from this growth will be the likes of Nazara Technologies.
We hope you’ve found this deep dive into the Casual Online Gaming industry interesting. If you like our blogs and want to write some more, a Share and Like would be appreciated.
Disclaimer: Information shared in this story is only for educational purposes. One should not consider it as a buy/sell/hold recommendation by Research & Ranking. Giving free recommendations without assessing an investor’s risk is prohibited by SEBI. To know your risk appetite and which companies should you invest in click here.
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