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Facebook is Seeking First-Mover Advantage on the Indian Gaming Market through Gaming App Integration

The American tech giant is looking closely at the Indian gaming market with its unique trends. Bharat recorded 234 million gameplay sessions in July and August and is the third largest online gaming market in the world, mobile-first and Android-based.

Facebook Gaming is Part of the Existing Facebook App

The American tech giant Facebook is seeking a first-mover advantage on the growing with a fast pace Indian online gaming market. The existing Facebook app fully integrates Facebook Gaming and the Play feature allows Indian users to play various games without having to download them on their mobile phones.

India ranks third globally in gameplay session volume, says Manish Chopra, Facebook India’s director and head of partnerships, while he talks about the three verticals that make up Facebook Gaming in India. Play is focusing on online gameplay, while Watch is about live streaming the online gaming videos in direct rivalry with Twitch and other such platforms. At the same time, Connect brings the flourishing community of creators to their followers.

Play recorded 380 users on a monthly basis, with India registering 234 million gameplay sessions in July and August only, says Manish Chopra and continues: “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.”

An Overwhelming Majority of Indians Play on Their Mobile Phones

Facebook Gaming has also been made available as a standalone app, downloadable for free on Android smartphones and Apple iPhones, because of the feedback the company has been receiving from gamers. The tech giant notes that the overwhelming majority of desi users access Facebook Gaming from their mobile phones, with Android being the most popular system. “It is not that there is a platform limitation as such for us,” commented Chopra.

A recent study by ENV Media (Esse N Videri) taking a close look on which mobile devices are used by the Indian online gambling community backs up Chopra’s data. The paper compares proprietary GA data with publicly available datasets and analyses the findings. Geographically referenced data from organic user flow to ENV’s own casino affiliate site SevenJackpots from 78 thousand users (January 1 – April 30, 2021) reveals that 87.16 per cent of searches were performed on mobile phones, tablets were used by 0.46 per cent of people, and desktop computers were employed by 12.38 per cent of users.

Smartphones using different versions of the Android OS approach 90 per cent of the registered user flow, with Chinese Xaomi and South Korean Samsung taking the lead as brands. Vivo, Oppo and RealMe complete the top five, with global leader Huawei lagging behind. The premium segment is shared by Apple and OnePlus.

Quoted findings from a Kantar IMRB/MMA overview on Indian online gaming market break down user preferences by gaming genres. Action and Adventure take 62 per cent, Racing and Sports come up at 60 per cent, while Puzzles and Quizzes close the top 3 with 55 per cent. Strategy and Role Playing games record 38 per cent, while online gambling in India and betting are preferred by 23 per cent of users.

Gaming in India is Growing at a Fast Pace

According to a recent report by KPMG India, mobile game downloads in the country clocked 7.3 billion for the first three quarters of 2020, and the period from August 2020 to January 2021 brought in $ 544 million in investments to the Bharat gaming segment.

The restrictions and lockdowns related to the Covid-19 pandemic gave an additional boost to the Indian online gaming market, but, at least so far, the relaxation of the strict measures is not resulting in diminishing of this newly gained momentum. Experts even expect online gaming to keep growing for the next 12 to 18 months. “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,” said Manish Chopra.

Female Gamers on the Rise in India

According to a 2021 report by InMobi on Mobile Gaming in India through the Pandemic and Beyond, female gamers account for 43 per cent of mobile gaming in the country, with 28 per cent of all women players being over 45 years of age. The age group between 25 and 44 years is represented by 12 per cent of female players. Thus, the majority, or 60 per cent, of all desi female gamers are 24 years old or younger and they will soon be shaping the future of mobile gaming. Facebook’s first female partner from India – Mystic Ignite, and Rog Stream with her 2.2 million followers are already doing it.


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