Big in India. The Top Mobile Games
We’re all the same species so, wherever you go, you’re likely to find that interest in technology and video gaming is universal. Asia is the biggest market of all, with 96.4% of people in the Philippines playing a game of some description in 2021, followed by Thailand (94.7%) and Indonesia (94.5%). The only real outliers are what might be considered the richest countries. Just 70.5% of Belgians play video games, for instance.
It’s not always easy to see why certain populations like gaming more than others. In fact, a bit of a paradox exists in Japan. Known for entertainment companies like Nintendo, Konami, Square-Enix, Bandai Namco, and Sony, Japan still has some of the lowest levels of collective interest in gaming. Part of this has to do with its perilously old population - 28% of Japanese are over 64, according to Visual Capitalist.
In comparison, people in India average out at 29 years old, making it one of the youngest countries on earth. Predictably, the country has a strong connection with video games. Part of this affection stems from the fact that access to broadband internet exploded between 2018 to 2020, up from 20% to 43%, allowing Indians to play MMOs, mobile games, and online multiplayer titles.
What exactly are they playing, though? Let’s take a look at the most popular video games in India, regardless of genre.
Despite being more than a decade old, Coin Master continues to gross huge amounts of money in Europe and on the subcontinent. The game shares some commonalities with the casino title 11 Coins of Fire, which is a slot machine that can be played via an online casino in India for real money. The major difference is that Coins of Fire swaps out the pigs of Coin Master for dragons. The latter also features a village-building experience, as well.
India has a long-standing love for board and card games such as teen patti which can be played on online casino platform like Playerz. Ludo King falls into this bracket, as a modern version of the classic strategy experience, which itself comes from the local game pachisi. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a ludo app but the addition of multiplayer gives it more of a community atmosphere. It's also an Indian-made app.
Garena Free Fire
While Garena Free Fire won’t win any awards for its graphics, this Vietnamese game serves as a popular alternative to battle-royale titles like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite. At one point, there were 150m active users playing the game, a remarkable achievement given how crowded the marketplace is for this kind of experience. Players have ten minutes to eliminate 49 others and become the ultimate survivalist.
Call of Duty Mobile
The portable version of Call of Duty has made more than a billion dollars in revenue, to date, which sets it apart as the most successful installment of the franchise overall. The next most popular title, Call of Duty Black Ops, earned a paltry $30.7m. Part of the appeal of the game is that it has its own canon, although a version of Captain Price does still make an appearance. Call of Duty Mobile has been downloaded more than 250m times.
Related to Clash of Clans, Supercell’s mixed genre game is notable for making more than $2.5bn in just three years. The gameplay is superficially similar to that of League of Legends and other MOBAs, in that destroying objectives (towers) is the key to victory. However, it’s probably much more appropriate to refer to it as a tower defense game, albeit with a lot of other mechanics thrown in, too.
Battlegrounds Mobile India
An almost inexplicable success, given how janky it was at release, Battlegrounds Mobile India has so many elite players that it’s now played competitively, as an eSport. The app follows the familiar “last person standing” format of most battle royale games but its emphasis on realistic environments and weapons distances it from cartoony shooters such as Overwatch, Fortnite, and Team Fortress 2.
India is no slouch when it comes to creating and playing video games and, due to its enormous population, the country is likely to contribute even more players and cash to the global market over the next few years.