India’s mobile gaming industry is advancing rapidly, and how!

Sagar Barapatre, Head of Marketing, MadOverPoker, takes a look at the mobile gaming industry in India and analyses the factors that are fueling its growth. 

Online Gaming in India is one of the most prominent sectors that has benefitted and has been identified as the by-product of strident advances in technology. Among the factors responsible for this growth are world’s largest youth population, second largest online population and the total number of smartphone owners. India is now poised to become a leader in the Mobile Gaming domain. 

As per recent surveys, India’s Mobile Gaming market is expected to gross at around $1.1 billion by 2020, while the number of users is expected to touch 628 million. According to a report by KPMG on India’s Media and Entertainment Sector, social card games like Teen Patti and rummy are moving from physical tables to mobile phones at an unprecedented pace. Online gaming through handheld devices will become larger than radio and music industries combined in the next five years, growing 22 per cent a year to Rs 11,880 crore. 

Real Money Skill Games Versus Casual Games  

Real Money Games (RMG) is an emerging segment in India which comprises games like Rummy, Poker and Fantasy Sports, whereas in casual gaming, the user doesn’t need to invest money to play and win. More often than not, casual games are played personal computers online in web browsers, but at the same time, are popular on gaming consoles and smartphones. 

In games of skill, the results are determined by the players’ skill level. An example of a pure game of skill can be chess or checkers. All decisions are made by opposing players, and neither game includes any random element. Examples of game of chance are Candyland or the card game War. In games of chance, no amount of skill can help users succeed. All outcomes are determined completely at random. Card games including Poker and Rummy have gained social acceptance, with no more stigma associated with gambling, since a Supreme Court ruling branded them as games of skill rather than games of chance. In states like West Bengal, Nagaland and Karnataka, these are regarded as games of skill and hence, deemed legal by the law. 

Poker is a game of the mind that uses theories of probability. IIM Kozhikode offers Poker lessons to inculcate leadership and risk management skills in MBA students. It has to do with making the right decisions when people are under pressure of uncertainty and competition. The popular game of cards involves taking a decision, the results of which will be seen in the due course of time. The elective course ‘Game of Poker: Competitive Strategy’ introduced in 2014-15, helps students in understanding the challenges related to decision-making and in planning competitive strategies. It also helps them learn interpersonal skills such as facing challenges, strong representation and ability to assess the competitor’s emotions. The students are first taught theory and the second part sees experts holding workshops to make students understand the applications. International universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, too, are offering courses in Poker and are using it as a reference for teaching intense strategy and focus. 

Application of Poker Principles in Real World Business  

The game of Poker is synonymous with taking calculated risks. Depending on the hand we have been dealt, the stage of tournament and the cash, we arrive at calculated risks. The same skill is applicable to investing, since every investment comes with risks. The key to a successful investment is in taking calculated risks to achieve maximum profits and minimum losses. Like observed in Poker, investment too requires patience and long term focus to yield tangible business results. Knowing numbers is important both in Poker and business.  

Effectiveness of Digital Marketing In Mobile Gaming  

Here are important reasons why Digital Marketing is gaining popularity over Traditional Marketing:  

More leads with reduced costs: Large companies used to spend millions a year in advertising that might be local or national. Whereas in the case of Digital Marketing, companies pay only for the predefined outcomes also called as Performance Marketing. Performance marketing campaigns are also a sure way of reducing costs of marketers by not paying for wasted impressions.  

Next-level of engagement with audience: A lot of opportunities have been created to interact with audiences from any location through Social Media Marketing and through innovative personal messaging techniques such as Chatbots. Personalisation is the way forward, which is the name of the game in Digital Marketing.  

Real-time tracking makes for better targeting: Technology allows marketers to track and analyse both historical and real-time data to understand how effective a given campaign is and measure this against overall ROI. This data can be used to target audience in a more precise way and with AI, this will get more accurate. Robust tracking mechanism allows companies to track a customer’s online journey. Digital Marketing helps in planning user journey in a better way, assuring them a great personal experience and hence, retaining them for future engagements. In addition, brands are able to catch customers when they are actively looking for them. In traditional marketing, there was no way of doing this.  

Future Trends of Mobile Marketing  

In the context of high-tech and Internet-connected era, businesses need to leverage the upcoming Mobile Marketing trends and strategies:  

The trend is moving more towards making an ad not look like an ad anymore.  

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Predictive Advertising
  • Chatbots
  • Personalisation
  • Social Messaging Apps
  • Visual Search & Voice search 
  • Micro-Moments
  • Social Media Stories 

Customer experiences will be defined by personalisation, automation and AI-powered technology in order to stay ahead of the curve and increase conversions in 2019. Companies will need to get better at producing custom and conversational content, both audio and video, to share with better-targeted audience. 

About the Author

A seasoned marketer with a proven track record of growing large established brands and building brands from scratch, Sagar has conceptualized and implemented award-winning campaigns and set industry-wide best practices. He has worked with notable brands such as Idea Cellular, Publicis Groupe and Capgemini. He has been instrumental in the growth of MadOverPoker, using his expert knowledge of the industry from his previous stint with the top poker brand in India. He specializes in brand management, digital marketing, growth hacking, building in-house capabilities and solving business problems. His work has made MadOverPoker the fastest-growing poker portal in India.


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