About 45% of Indian gamers, the study said, started playing mobile games during the pandemic lockdowns.
InMobi in February interviewed 1,000 Indian smartphone users in over 30 cities to understand gaming personas, advertiser insights, and gaming behaviour. It also collected data signals from over 200 million users in India.
India is the fifth largest mobile gaming market in the world. Access to affordable smartphones, cheapest network data tariffs in the world, and improving mobile internet speeds have led to growing adoption of mobile gaming.
“Smartphone penetration has democratised mobile gaming. Last year saw a huge growth in gaming in India. The country was one of the fastest growing in terms of game app downloads,” said Vasuta Agarwal, managing director for Asia-Pacific in InMobi.
Data from its audience engagement platform showed that Gen Z took to casual games, and action/arcade games, while millennials and Gen X preferred action games and board/card games.
InMobi grouped users into committed gamers, regular gamers and occasional gamers. Most Indians (more than 80%) are committed gamers, playing mobile games daily. Committed gamers spend substantially more time per session than other gamers, with over 84% of such players spending up to an hour on mobile gaming in a single sitting.
“There’s a snacking behaviour in mobile gaming — people playing in short spurts throughout the day, in between meetings, chores. About 40% of them spend over 10 minutes per gaming session, and 14% spend more than an hour a day on mobile games,” Agarwal said.
About 72% of women gamers are highly committed gamers in India. While most women gamers snack and play in 10-minute increments, a substantial share play for over an hour.
Most Indian gamers have an average of three games installed on their phones. About 74% of gamers watch an ad to progress in a game, whereas 26% pay money to continue.
Pre-lockdown, Indians would increase their game time between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm. However, during and post lockdown, game play declined during these hours.
“Pre-lockdown, these hours would typically be when folks would travel back home after a long day at the office. However, during lockdown, these would continue to remain work hours,” the study said.