9 Trends That Will Shape the Indian Esports Industry in 2024

Editor - CyberMedia Research

Editor - CyberMedia Research

The past two years have been explosive for the Indian Esports sector, with our teams bringing home medals from top-tier tournaments such as the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. The surge in the entire Esports ecosystem has led to rapid movements within the industry. According to reports, the games market in India is projected to reach a revenue of US$8,723.00m in 2024. It is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2029) of 10.36%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$14,280.00m by 2029.

As 2024 progresses, it’s time to observe the current trends in this burgeoning industry and what lies ahead. So, here are five key trends that will dictate the industry movement for the rest of the year.

5G Will Play a Major Role

5G’s arrival is definitely be a game-changer for FPS games in India. Its lightning-fast speeds and ultra-low latency will eliminate lag, a constant nemesis for competitive players. This will create a smoother, more responsive experience, allowing for quicker reflexes and more strategic decision-making. Additionally, 5G’s increased bandwidth paves the way for larger, more detailed maps and immersive game worlds. Imagine navigating intricate environments without jitters, or downloading massive updates in seconds. 

5G’s potential extends to mobile gaming as well. With similar performance boosts, FPS titles on smartphones will rival their console counterparts, further expanding the player base and potentially fostering a new era of mobile esports dominance in India.

The advent of Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming’s arrival in 2024 is a disruptive force for the Indian gaming ecosystem. With a vast mobile-first audience and a limited high-end PC market, cloud gaming removes hardware barriers. Titles like AAA games, traditionally demanding on PCs, become accessible. This could be a boon for casual gamers and esports enthusiasts who can now experience competitive titles without hefty upfront costs. The rise of devices like the Steam Deck, a portable PC capable of cloud gaming, further strengthens this trend. While internet infrastructure remains a hurdle, cloud gaming’s potential to democratize access to high-end titles is undeniable, making 2024 a crucial year for its growth in India.

Rise of Homegrown Games 

2024 marks a potential turning point for Indian gaming. This trend is fueled by homegrown titles making a splash, with ambitious AAA projects like “Underworld Gang Wars”, “Mumbai Gullies”, “Mayanagari”, and “Indus Battle Royale” capturing player attention. These games integrate rich Indian themes and lore, offering a unique experience.  This surge is fueled by a growing mobile gaming market and a maturing audience willing to invest in quality experiences. With continued government support and developer investment, Indian games are poised to not only dominate the domestic market but also challenge global giants in the years to come.

Battle Royals Will Peak on Mobile Platform

Battle Royal is surely one of the most favourite genres among the Indian Esports segment. Even with the widespread popularity of AAA games, the MOBA genre and FPS shooters, the Battle Royal genre seems to be catching on more than all others. Local tournaments centred around Battle Royal games can be witnessed across the country with a large number of participants.

But due to many reasons including mobile device domination, server Issues, excessive cheating issues on PC games, and costlier entry barrier, BR games on PC have been losing their player base for the last 1-2 years. On the other hand, mobile BR player numbers are increasing heavily. 

PUBG Mobile can be a prime example here. While banned players strived for an alternative and BGMI was the solution from the devs. Most of the players shifted to BGMI almost instantly and kept on playing, while the PC counterpart PlayierUnknown’s Battleground kept on losing popularity. The difference in revenue figures of these two versions of the same base game is quite self-explanatory. With the launch of COD Warzone Mobile the popularity of BR games on mobile platforms is potentially to reach a higher level by 2024.

Casual Gaming will Become a Strong Trend

Gaming was considered to be a ‘children’s thing’ in the country, but the latest reports prove that this is changing. Adults are entering the gaming industry and investing in consoles more than before. While they view it as a form of leisure activity, the sale of video game consoles have rapidly increased in the last half decade. This means the next-gen of consoles will be launched in India pretty soon, including premium hand-held consoles. Also this trend will boost the business of simulation games in India too. 

Players Will Invest More in AAA Games

AAA games have been popular since their inception, but revenue numbers in India were significantly lower due to the widespread piracy culture. However, the Indian market has evolved significantly over time. Gamers are now more inclined to purchase games, especially if they are affordable and offer multiplayer experiences and unique achievements. For these reasons, game sales on Steam and Epic Games have seen a considerable jump. If this trend continues, and with many new major AAA titles like GTA VI coming to market, this trend is likely to not only continue but also increase in 2024.

FPS Games Will Keep Gaining More Popularity

First-person shooter (FPS) games are poised for continued growth in India. Even with negative feedback on recent updates on CS2, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s (CS:GO) strong legacy and competitive depth keep it relevant. Meanwhile, Valorant has exploded in popularity, becoming the darling of the Indian esports scene. Its strategic gameplay, diverse characters, and focus on teamwork resonate with Indian gamers. With a constant influx of new titles and a thriving esports ecosystem, FPS games are primed to dominate the Indian gaming landscape. 

Rise in Esports Startups

India’s esports industry is witnessing a boom in startup activity in 2024. New companies are emerging to cater to the growing needs of gamers and organizations. Loco, a live-streaming platform for gamers, is leading the charge, allowing fans to connect and cheer for their favourite teams. Meanwhile, Nodwin Gaming, a long-standing esports tournament organizer, is expanding its offerings, providing infrastructure and support for grassroots events.  This influx of startups fosters a thriving ecosystem, offering opportunities for aspiring esports professionals, content creators, and casual viewers alike. With continued growth, these startups are poised to propel India’s esports scene to even greater heights.

Strategic Brand Collaborations

2024 is shaping up to be a year of strategic brand collaborations in India’s esports scene. Companies are recognizing the immense potential of this young and engaged audience. We’re seeing tech giants like AMD teaming up with esports organizations like Revenant Esports, providing crucial hardware support.  Telecom giants like Vi are also joining the fray, partnering with international teams like Team Vitality to boost the esports ecosystem. These collaborations create win-win situations, with brands gaining valuable exposure and teams receiving the resources they need to thrive.  Expect to see even more innovative partnerships emerge in 2024, further solidifying esports as a mainstream marketing platform in India. 

Summing Up

The Esports economy in India is due for a large overhaul, and many strong trends prove that it will be sooner rather than later.

Be it more sales in premium consoles, the popularity of internet-based gaming, or startup-oriented growth; the industry will rapidly evolve.