Indian Gaming Industry: The Rise of Ludo King

With this piece, we take a look at the Indian Gaming Industry with Ludo King being our special point of focus. The industry has been growing since the last few years and has only erupted during the lockdown. With the Ban of PUBG and release of FAU-G, it has become even more important for us to understand the current and future trends of this industry. Let’s dive right in the piece!

The size of Indian Gaming Industry

With 65% of India’s population below the age of 35, India is a young country and an influential market for the online gaming industry.

In the recent report published by Limelight networks, the $930 million Indian Gaming Industry is forecasted to grow 41% annually. More than the Men’s grooming category. The concept of Gaming is at financial infusion state with the rapid rise in consumption expected and investments likely to accelerate. On average, a gamer spends 6 hours 15 min weekly on the gaming platform, the time ranging from 45 minutes to 12 hours a week. More than what people spend studying on Edtech Platforms.

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Source: Limelight Networks: Online Gaming – 2020 Report

There are 400 gaming start-ups in India betting in three major Gaming categories: Real Money Games, Casual Games and E-sports.

Real Money Games are the ones that charge a minimum entry fee and then you earn/lose based on the outcome of the play. Such games include Rummy, Poker, Teen Patti, etc. It is known that the time investment here is huge, people bet and play these games all day. Ever seen those ads popping on your screen saying how a random person made a fortune playing these games? This is because they cannot directly advertise, so they do a Surrogate advertisement sometimes. Anyway, let’s head to the next category.

A casual game is a video game that doesn’t require a huge time investment to play, win, and enjoy. Angry Birds, Temple Run, Candy Crush fall under this category.

But here’s another big category, possibly the one that made the Indian Gaming Industry what it is today. The E-sports. E-sports are the professional tournaments that consist of shooting, battleground arena, MMORPG, or fighting games multiplayer video games. These include Call of Duty, PUBG, Counter-Strike, DotA 2, World of Warcraft, Modern Warfare, to name a few.

Even though the revenue contribution of Real Money Games is the highest, the Usage and Loyalty of professional gamers lies to E-sports. Because this category comes with some actual fame. Winning a tournament > Winning a few hundred bucks. You can’t even say that to a friend, can you?

Anyway, Barring those, Indian masses incline towards casual games. Casual gamers contribute to 58.7% of all Indian gamers. Thus the admiration received for casual games is remarkable.

Indian Gaming Industry: A sad story pre 2019

Until 2019, Indian companies made few or no marks in the global online gaming industry. With all the popularity showered to games like Clash of Clans, PUBG, Nintendo games, the simplicity aspect of gaming remained unexplored. At least for games that would include some Indian angle.

But then, pandemic happened. And then the lockdown. People started staying at home. They had to talk to their friends, they wanted to replace their casual coffee/chai talks with something else, this is where games came in. More and more Indians started downloading games like PUBG, Ludo King, etc.

Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a campaign #PlayApartTogether to promote social activity while maintaining social distancing.

A welcomed move and international recognition from WHO boosted the Global gaming industry. Pre-COVID, India had a total of 300 million mobile gamers. The industry exploded post-COVID, a leading gaming portal said they saw a 200% rise in their user base. Ludo King crossed 400 million installs alone in a period of 3 months of lockdown.

The Rise of Ludo King
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Ludo King which is developed by Gametion Technologies, a Mumbai based start-up, truly became a Quarantine Sensation. Vikash Jaiswal, the founder and CEO of Gametion Technology, developed his first-ever game Eggy Boy overnight, which was highly appreciated and received ‘Game of the Month’ award. In 2015, with a team of 6 members, Ludo King was conceptualised. Traditionally known as Pachisi, this board game is prominently played in South-East Asia, Europe and the middle-east. It also finds a special mention in the tales of Indian mythology.

Ludo king has surpassed its competitors and set awe-inspiring records. Key records set by Ludo King are

  • India’s top-ranked gaming app, on Android and iOS
  • The first Indian game to cross 100 million downloads
  • India’s first and world’s third most downloaded game on Google Play.
  • 185+ million Daily Active Users
  • Beaten legendary games like Candy Crush, PUBG, Temple Run, in the race of monthly active users
  • India’s favourite quarantine game
  • Amongst Top Global Game with 483 million downloads.
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The game targeted from Gen X to Gen Z taps onto the emotional and nostalgic sentiment of people. Ludo has been a childhood memory of every generation and the best past time as well. With the launch of digital Ludo, one could relish the fun of board game without the requirement of a physical board.

Another important aspect where Ludo King wins over other online Ludo games is the player interaction. It’s a multiplayer game where family members, together or apart, friends or strangers can connect and play the game with hassle-free communication. Due to its launch of audio-visual feel and ‘Festival E-greetings’ in July 2020, the distance barrier has vanished virtually.

Indian Gaming Industry: The Rise of Ludo King
Rakhi Greetings

The constant efforts of developers to offer a new experience to gamers has enhanced its likability amongst gamers. From the traditional design of Ludo to fascinating themes, from four-player to six-player room, the app marks an edge over other games. It has also tied up with Amazon Prime to offer one premium game theme every month.

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Limelight Networks: Online Gaming – 2020 Report

Surprisingly, the age group of 46-60 has the maximum share of 29.4% in Indian gaming Industry. The Gen Z is well-versed with the basic functioning of the smartphone and has lately started using it as a source of entertainment. Unlike other games which require agility and practice to level up, Ludo King is a breath of fresh air. It is a game made to sit down and relax with family. With the ban of PUB-G and other Chinese apps, people speculated the ban of Ludo King too, unaware of the fact that it is indeed an Indian app.

The trend of casual games is setting up with the current stressed lifestyle, lack of personal interaction and need to socialise. This explains the rising popularity of casual games like Ludo King that resonates the interests of the majority gaming population. The Indian Gaming Industry will gain momentum in the next five years and hit $3.75 billion owing to the booming digital infrastructure and internet penetration.


What lays in future for Ludo King?

As the situation inches towards normalization, the Daily Active Users (DAU) may drop. Yet, it is predicted that the count will still be higher than February 2020. People have got the taste of the game, which will bring the gamers back to the game, even post the lockdown. Ludo King also plans to expand its business in Bangladesh, UAE and some European nations. It has actively been looking into the feasibility of 12 player room.

Currently, Ludo King’s 80% of the revenue comes from advertising and 20% from in-app purchases. With the launch of new features and customised themes, it aims for 60-40 structure, a substantial increase in revenue from in-app purchases.

The ever increasing support to #AtmaNirbhar Bharat, #VocalForLocal, ban on PUBG and launch of FAU-G, Ludo King stands as the only Indian made gaming app which ticks all boxes and is appreciated for its futuristic outlook. The makers intend to keep its audience hooked to the game by being authentic and innovative at once, and endure the title of ‘The beloved game of India’. And with the phenomenal rise of the Indian Gaming Industry, there is no doubt that this will be achieved.

Author:

The author of this piece is Swarali Teredesai, a student at Welingkar Institute of Management studies. If you liked the piece, go ahead and share this with your best friend on WhatsApp.

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