India already boasts the second-largest gaming audience across all platforms, with the player count continuing to rise rapidly each year. While the Indian industry looks different from the long-established markets of western Europe and North America, where consoles and PCs are adopted heavily, the focus is on the largest money-maker platform in the world, mobile.
Still somewhat of a nascent industry, the Indian gaming scene is established enough that upcoming trends can be identified, with player preferences already guiding game providers. So, what’s to come in 2021?
The undeniable appeal of bingo jackpots increases
It’s been a long road to adapt to the trends and desires of modern gamers fully, but the storied game of bingo appears to have found the right formula. The move online and becoming mobile compatible was the first big step, but to muscle-in on other popular online gambling platforms, they introduced jackpot bingo games for fun.
For the most part, these bingo games come under the category of slots, with many of them linking to ever-increasing jackpots. Bingo is traditionally a low-fee, low-win casual game, so what these big-jackpot games do is expand the appeal of the bingo section as a whole. Online gambling games are on the rise, and with bingo being one of the more accessible options, including eye-catching jackpot games will help it continue to trend among Indian gamers.
More profound gaming experiences will get noticed
For a very long time, since before India emerged as a gaming superpower, mobile app developers have been able to get by with relatively shallow creations in the freemium model. However, with hundreds of millions of mobile gamers in India alone, brave developers willing to break ranks and offer a much deeper experience are beginning to reap the benefits – provided that they stick to the free-to-play structure.
The prime examples of these are PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile, Garena Free Fire, and, most notably, Genshin Impact. Already sitting as the 14th highest-grossing game in India, the late 2020 release is expected to be the catalyst of more premium studios making mobile games. This will only raise the standard and the appeal of gaming further, especially if developers follow the example of MiHoYo.
The beginning of widespread game streaming adoption
Cloud gaming and the streaming of console games to mobiles has been tipped as industry-uprooting technology for the last couple of years – especially after Google began making huge claims about the capabilities of its service. However, Google’s Stadia flopped at launch, lacking many features, and Microsoft’s Project xCloud continued to simmer quietly in development.
The main issue with many of these major services is that they’re not geared towards interested markets. In western Europe and North America, consoles and gaming PCs are already massive, making the turn to the subscription or subscription-plus-premium models for smartphones play unappealing. This is how The Gaming Project has been able to come out swinging in India. It has a basic free plan for access to console games streamed to mobiles but at a time cap of 6 hours per month, with a couple of other plans leading to the ultimate, all-inclusive subscription of ₹499 per month.
The expansion of bingo’s offering to include jackpots, enhancing the quality of mobile games, and setting the foundations of triple-A game streaming to smartphones are all set to be Indian gaming trends in 2021.