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Facebook is Tapping into the Indian Gaming Market through the Facebook App

Punjab Tribune Bureau | November 30, 2021 01:11 PM

Facebook is Tapping into the Indian Gaming Market through the Facebook App

No large player would want to miss out on the third largest gamers market in the world and Facebook is trying to use its large user base as an advantage integrating Gaming into their existing app, besides making it available as a standalone free downloadable app for Android and iOS.

The Tech Giant is Seeking First-Mover Advantage

Facebook Gaming with its Play feature is integrated into the Facebook app and desi users can play games without having to download them on their smartphones. In this way, the American tech giant is hoping to gain the first-mover advantage on the flourishing Indian gaming market.

Manish Chopra, director of Facebook India and head of partnerships, explains the three verticals that comprise the structure of Facebook Gaming in Bharat, the country which he says currently ranks third in the world in gameplay session volume. Play is revolving around online gameplay, Watch is dealing with streaming live gaming videos in direct competition with Twitch and other similar platforms, and Connect is focused on linking the booming creator community with followers.

“The remarkable thing is that India is the third-largest globally. If you look at gaming, there are a lot of markets where gaming has been very well established and there is a perception that India is not a top gaming market as such,” said Manish Chopra, commenting on recent user acquisition figures. The Play vertical has registered 380 million monthly users, and India recorded 234 million gameplay sessions in July and August.

India’s Unique Gaming Trends

Facebook has been taking note of India’s unique trends in online gaming and the feedback that the tech giant has been receiving from gamers. This is the reason Facebook Gaming has been made available also as a standalone app which is free to download on both Android and Apple iOS smartphones. At the same time, Facebook Gaming in India has been overwhelmingly accessed from mobile devices, with Android being the most popular OS.

A recently published research paper on “Which Mobile Devices do Indian Online Gamblers Use Most?” confirms these trends. The study juxtaposes proprietary geographically referenced Google Analytics data with secondary publicly available datasets. Data from the visits and conversions recorded from 78 thousand users between January 1 and April 30, 2021, show that 87.16 of organic search users employed a mobile phone. Other hand-held devices, i.e. tablets, were used by 0.46 per cent of people, and 12.38 per cent were employing desktop computers, mostly from their working places.

Breaking the proprietary data by phone brands, Xiaomi stands out as the leader with 23.38 per cent of users, followed by South Korean Samsung with 19.24 per cent. Vivo (15.25 per cent), Oppo (10.68 per cent), and RealMe (8.87 per cent) complete the top 5 brands. Apple (5.44 per cent) and OnePlus (3.95 per cent) rival each other for the premium smartphone segment, while Huawei accounts for only 2.14 per cent of the total organically acquired users.

The research piece also quotes data from a 2018 overview of the Indian online gaming market by market research and consumer consulting company Kantar IMRB and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) breaking down gaming preferences into genres.

Figures show that today’s gamer is a multi-genre player, with Action and Adventure games (62 per cent), Racing and Sports (60 per cent), and Puzzles, Quizzes and Word Games (55 per cent) clearly topping the nation’s preferences, followed by the Strategy and Role Playing genres at 38 per cent. Blackjack, poker and roulette online casino games together with the gambling and betting genre come up at 23 per cent of user choice.

The Indian Gaming Market is Rapidly Growing

Looking at estimates by KPMG India, the country recorded a staggering 7.3 billion mobile game downloads for the first three quarters of 2020. The year started with 1.8 billion downloads in Q1 2020, the figure rising to 2.7 billion in Q2, and further accelerating to 2.9 billion in Q3 2020. The investments roped in by the nation’s gaming sector within the period of August 2020 to January 2021 amount to $ 544 million.

India’s growing online gaming market gathered a strong additional momentum during the Covid-19 induced lockdowns when people were forced to stay at their homes, but statistics show that this momentum is not weakening with the relaxations of the anti-epidemic measures. Online gaming in India is even expected to grow further in the next 12 to 18 months, building up on the push from the lockdowns. “We also thought hard about that when we saw the peaking happened. It was a nice bump up during the first phase of the pandemic. But it did not come down, even when lockdown opened,” added Manish Chopra.

 

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