Gaming industry vs established entertainment in India: Which is bigger?

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

New Delhi: India's entertainment industry's landscape has significantly transformed over the past decade. While traditional sectors such as film, music, and television have long dominated the market, a new player has emerged with a formidable force - the gaming industry.

The rise of online games, such as mobile gaming and real money games, like rummy and others, has brought about a paradigm shift in how Indians engage with entertainment. 

This article explores and compares the growth, revenue, and cultural impact of the gaming industry with that of the film, music, and OTT (Over-the-Top) sectors in India.

The evolution of the gaming industry in India

The Indian gaming industry has seen exponential growth over the past decade. This surge can be attributed to the proliferation of smartphones, affordable internet access, and a young demographic with a keen interest in digital entertainment. According to recent reports, the Indian gaming market is expected to grow from USD 272.86 billion in 2024 to USD 426.02 billion by 2029, reflecting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.32%.

One notable segment within the gaming industry is real-money games, which include popular options like rummy and others. Platforms offering these games, such as popular RummyTime rummy app, have seen substantial user engagement, contributing significantly to the industry's revenue. However, the question remains: does this burgeoning sector hold a candle to the established giants of film, music, and OTT services?

Comparing revenue and growth with traditional entertainment

To understand the gaming industry's comparative scale, it's essential to examine the revenue generated by different entertainment sectors.

  • Film Industry: The Indian film industry, one of the largest in the world, generated approximately USD 2.5 billion in revenue in 2023. Despite being heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has shown resilience, with a strong comeback in 2022 and 2023 due to many successful releases and the resurgence of cinema attendance.
  • Music Industry: Although not as massive as its film counterpart, the Indian music industry still holds significant cultural importance. In 2023, the industry generated around USD 370 million. The rise of streaming services like Gaana, JioSaavn, and Spotify has fueled this growth, with digital revenue surpassing traditional physical sales.
  • OTT Platforms: The OTT sector has experienced explosive growth, driven by changing consumer preferences and the pandemic-induced lockdowns. As of 2023, the Indian OTT market was valued at approximately USD 2.9 billion, with projections to reach USD 5 billion by 2025.
  • Gaming Industry: The Indian gaming industry's revenue was estimated at USD 3.49 billion in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 7.24 billion by 2029. It will grow at a CAGR of 15.68% during the forecast period (2024-2029), with significant contributions from mobile gaming like the rummy game and others.

Industry insights and market dynamics

Several key factors underpin the gaming industry's growth in India:

  • Technological Advancements: The advent of high-performance smartphones and affordable internet has made gaming accessible to a broader audience. Innovations in gaming technology, such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), have further enhanced the gaming experience.
  • Investment and Development: The influx of investment from both domestic and international players has accelerated the development of the gaming ecosystem in India. Companies invest in local talent, game development studios, and gaming infrastructure to tap into the growing market.
  • Government Support: The Indian government has recognised the gaming industry's potential and is taking steps to promote its growth. Initiatives such as the National Policy on Software Products and the establishment of gaming clusters aim to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector.
  • Consumer Preferences: The changing preferences of Indian consumers, particularly the younger generation, have driven the demand for interactive and immersive entertainment. The rise of esports and real-money games like rummy games and others reflects this shift towards engaging and competitive forms of entertainment.

The future outlook

The future of the gaming industry in India looks promising, with several trends poised to shape its trajectory:

  • Increased Monetisation: As the gaming industry matures, monetisation strategies will be more focused. This includes adopting subscription models, in-game purchases, and premium content offerings. The success of real-money games demonstrates the potential for diverse revenue streams within the gaming sector.
  • Expansion of Esports: Esports is set to become a significant component of the Indian gaming landscape. The growing popularity of competitive gaming, coupled with investments in esports infrastructure and talent development, will drive the growth of this segment. Esports tournaments and leagues will attract larger audiences and generate significant revenue through sponsorships and advertising.
  • Cross-Industry Collaborations: The gaming industry increasingly collaborates with other sectors, such as fashion, music, and film, to create unique and immersive experiences. For example, in-game concerts and virtual fashion shows are becoming popular, blurring the lines between different forms of entertainment.
  • Regulatory Landscape: The regulatory framework for gaming in India is evolving. It focuses on ensuring fair play, protecting consumer interests, and promoting responsible gaming. Clear regulations will provide a stable environment for growth and encourage more investment in the sector.

Poised to rival

In conclusion, the gaming industry in India has achieved significant growth. It is poised to rival entertainment sectors such as film, music, and OTT platforms. With its diverse revenue streams, including real-money games like the rummy game and others, and the increasing engagement of a broader demographic, the gaming industry is on a path of sustained expansion.

The future of gaming in India looks promising, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and supportive government policies. As the industry continues to evolve, it will play a pivotal role in shaping the entertainment landscape in India, offering new and exciting experiences to a growing audience.