How did gaming change in India from playing Road-rash and Mario to PubG and Call of Duty?

Do you remember the Mario game you played at your friend’s place on weekends and wished for the same console on your birthday? Or those long hours in your neighborhood internet café, busy playing Road Rash and other shooting fire games? Yes, those good old games. When the mobile phone hasn’t yet taken over the world.

PC games and gaming consoles were all the fad. Truth to be told it was we had. However, the gaming scene has completely flipped over, for the good, we must add. Along with the old PC games, Xbox video gaming, gaming consoles, Sony PlayStation, and most importantly mobile games have taken over.

Gaming is now seen in a different light. It is no longer considered a child’s time pass or plaything. Gaming has successfully made a place for itself as a career option for many. Now, we not only have young kids or just teens playing games but people of different ages enjoying the same.

So, what gave rise to gaming popularity in India? What prompted its success?  What convinced people that gaming could serve as a source of livelihood?

Gaming has always been popular among kids in India. However, as mobile phones became available with top-notch features at a very affordable price in the Indian market, the gaming scene changed forever. Add to this, free internet and there was no stopping.

For instance, take the very popular online multiplayer game, PubG. Despite, its sour relationship with the government, it has set the Indian gaming market on fire, since its arrival in the country. the reason why it gained such an immense fan following lies in the fact that during this time the mobile ecosystem was growing in India. The game is free to download on phone, unlike the PC or console version where it is a paid game. This prompted more and more youngsters to at least try this game out which had no monetary investment attached to it.

The rest of the work was done by the game itself. With stunning visuals, HDR mode, anti-cheating mechanism, detailed map plans, and many more, attracted young and old crowd alike. This game doesn’t have a defined storyline as such, it works on simple principles where you fight and be the last person standing.

This game is available on various platforms- Xbox, mobile, PlayStation 4, and Pc. But the majority of its gaming audience plays the game on their mobile phones.

In short, the entry of affordable smartphones, low data tariffs (in fact some of the lowest in the world), and a high-speed 4-G network, gave a splendid upward push to the mobile gaming industry in the country.

Another multi-player game, Call of Duty, which has a remarkable fan following of its own, was made available on mobile phones in the country, which made it more popular than it was.

Some of the other factors that boosted the Indian gaming industry:

  •       Young crowd:

Around 75 percent of the total population in India, is made up of a population below the age of 45 years. This is the exact crowd that is ready to gamble their time, money, and efforts on online gaming. They find gaming as a source of entertainment that the old people refuse to see and acknowledge. This has injected a significant amount of investment in the gaming industry in the country.

  •       Online market:

India is the second-largest internet user in the world, which works great for online gaming. This demographic is sure to rise even higher by 2023, which means there will be a rise of new multi-player and other online games.  This has prompted more and more gaming companies to enter the ground and the existing ones to increase their investment. As per Tracxn Technologies data, investors like Kalaari Capital and Sequoia Capital have increased their investments in the gaming industry by 78 percent in recent years. Impressive, right?

Indians have access to more fun and adventurous games that satiates their entertainment needs. As a result, being the second-largest internet user has made it an investment for gaming hotspots in the world.


  •       Rise in IT Service and Tech companies:

There has been a remarkable rise in the number of online development companies in the country in the past decade. With 25 companies in 2010 to 275 in 2020, IT has come a long way to contribute to the development and support it renders to the gaming industry by developing gaming websites, apps, mobile software, and so on.


  •       The pandemic situation:

Covid-19 and the lockdown shook the entertainment and media trends forever, affecting its consumption significantly. People started shifting their attention from the traditional form of entertainment like TV, movies, and print media to gaming and digital media.

Online gaming, especially games like Call of Duty and PubG becomes a social space that fulfills people’s need to connect socially during tough and challenging times.

To curb the boredom, Indians turned towards mobile games that led to an astonishing spike in the gaming traffic in the country.


  •       Advertising:

Advertisers use enormous amounts of demographic and online behavioral data of potential customers to target them. Most of the gaming revenue is collected through advertising instead of in-app purchases. People are price-sensitive and are attracted to the free-to-play gaming business model for mobile phones of the gaming industry in India.

Also, the dedicated gaming fan followers are sure to respond to gaming advertisements and buy subscriptions for the same.


  •       Role of Government:

With the Prime Minister’s call for promoting and making indigenous Indian culture games, companies are expecting the government to play a more engaging and active role in the gaming industry.


The past few years have seen an unbelievable spike in the gaming culture, and this is nowhere to slow down. With more people getting into games, the gaming industry is on a journey by itself.

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