Preliminary estimates by Sensor Tower, an app analytics firm show that the revenue generated through in-app purchases of games on Google Play Store and Apple App Store in 2020 grew by 51.3% and 30.2%, respectively, over 2019.
The approximate expenditure on in-app purchases in Android games rose from $76 million (approximately ₹550 crores) a year ago to $115 million (approximately ₹840 crores) in 202. On the other hand, spending on the App Store was up from $45,4 million ( ₹320 crores) to $59.1 million ( ₹432 crores).
“Over the course of the pandemic, there has been a spike in gaming time, with more users moving from freemium to paid gaming apps,” said Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR).
According to CMR’s recent consumer research for 2020, six out of ten gamers tend to purchase gaming apps. It further showed that four out of nine female users purchased gaming apps in India.
The number of fantasy players on Mobile Premier League (MPL) increased more than seven times during IPL 2020. Whereas WinZO Games got boosted with a 10x 10x increase in the number of paid players by the end of 2020 as compared to 2019. “Our newly released games such as WCC by NextWave, Chess, and Tennis have seen massive transactions in the last couple of months,” said Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder, WinZO Games.
India has always been a free-to-play gaming market pushed by advertisements. The share of revenue generated from user payments has been lower than in other markets, say, for example, the US. Commenting on the growth, industry experts say that the swift growth in 2020 is mainly because of the increase in the number of users and not due to the huge shift in mindset toward payments.
“There is definitely some amount of conversion to paid users, but the growth is mainly driven by volumes. More people equal more revenue. There is still some barrier to paid gaming. The floodgates have not yet opened,” said Oliver Jones, co-founder, and director, Bombay Play, a game development firm.