Recently it was reported[1] The parent company of popular game PUB-G that is South Korea based Krafton Inc. plans to invest about 100 million USD in India in order to cultivate local Indian games, e-sports, entertainment and Information Technology (“IT”) industries. PUBG was banned in India in September of 2020.[2] However, due to the huge potential in Indian gaming market, Krafton had in November of 2020 stated that it would make a new game called PUBG Mobile India so as to circumvent the ban. This would be operated by PUBG Mobile India taking out Chinese Tencent Games from the picture. The main crux now is that as of March 2021, it is looking for an investment strategy analyst in India to help with Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&As”) and other investment opportunities in India.

The Industry & its scope in India

There are a large number of opportunities which these gaming start-ups can provide to Indian economy. PUBG India for example is planning to hire more than 100 employees in the country and establish a local office. Not only would it provide employment opportunities but also contribute to corporate tax. Clearly this is a massive benefit to India and PUBG is not alone. As per the data till November 2020,[3] gaming start-ups add up to about a 1.2 billion USD industry. These range from fantasy games to ludos. In the global mobile gaming market, that puts India in the 6th position in the world. The most downloaded game in India is Ludo King developed by a Mumbai start-up called Gametion Technologies.

Evolution of the gaming industry

The first mobile game in India was Snake on Nokia mobiles in the 1990s which was however preceded by personal computer and console gaming systems. The latter started investing in India from mid 1990s and after the launch of Apple App Store in 2008 the entire market for mobile gaming changed forever and was followed by the launch of Android version called Google Play Store. These generate money not only by offer of paid games but also in-game purchases for various benefits. In India especially, fantasy sports or skill based game skill poker and rummy have taken off greatly.

India versus the world                                                                                        

In the global gaming industry, China comes out to be at the top followed by the USA, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom and finally India. As of now India has 326 million games and 3% of the total pool of game publishers. With the growth of the internet this is only going to increase. Expectations are that the industry could hit 1.6 billion USD by 2025. Best part is that this growth is led by Indian start-ups like Gametion Technologies, Junglee Games, Dream 11, 99 Games etc.

Top 10 Gaming Start-ups in India as of now[4]

  1. First is Nazara Technologies founded in 1999 by Mr. Nitish Mittersain based in Mumbai and operating in 64 countries. It deals in sports based games and games for kids based on cartoon characters among others. It has raised 64.3 million USD and is planning to go public.
  2. Second, is the more recent Paytm First games launched in 2018 as a joint venture between Alibaba and Paytm. It deals in 300+ games across genres and has raised 20 million USD within 2 years.
  3. Third, is Moonfrog Labs founded by a group of 4 in 2013 and is based out of Bangalore. Its most popular game is Teen Patti gold and has till date raised 16 million USD from the likes of Sequoia Capital.
  4. Fourth we have Zapak owned by Reliance Group which deals primarily with online games for kids and has raised 15 million USD.
  5. Fifth we have 99Games founded in 2008 and dealing mainly with movie based games.
  6. Sixth, there is JetSynthesys founded in 2014. It focuses primarily on celebrity based games and leads in Virtual Reality (VR) gaming.
  7. Next we have Mech Mocha founded in 2015. It is a vernacular social gaming platform and allows users to interact with video and voice chat. It has raised about 10 million USD.
  8. Then we have PlaySimple Games founded in 2014 which offers simple games to play with family and friends and has raised about 4.6 million USD.

[1]Reuters, PUBG parent Krafton looking for new investment strategy analyst in India, Live Mint (Mar. 24 7:00 PM)

[2] Ankita Chakravarti, PUBG banned in India: here is what you can play now, India Today (Mar. 24 7:00 PM)

[3] Vaishnavi Dayalani, India mobile gaming startups tapping the 1.3 bn market opportunity, INC 42 (Mar. 24 7:00 PM)

[4] Varun, Top 10 mobile gaming startups in India, Indian Wire (Mar. 24 7:00 PM)

[1] Varun, Top 10 mobile gaming startups in India, Indian Wire (Mar. 24 7:00 PM)

  1. Ninth, we have Hashcube which is a cross-platform gaming platform founded in 2008 and is largely dependent on online Sudoku for its success. It has raised about 684.2K USD.
  2. Tenth, there is Rolocule founded in 2010 and specializes in motion gesture games like motion tennis etc. It has raised about 589.7K USD.



It is clear that most of the gaming start-ups in India are recent and of domestic origin. The fact that this billion dollar industry could easily be a multi-billion dollar one in the coming future is not hidden from anyone. In fact recent ban of Chinese games provides a further opportunity for Indian start-ups in this industry.[1] As is seen above, they have easily raised millions of dollars from foreign investors and many of them are planning to go public. It is a perfect sector for start-ups to break into. If you are looking to start your own gaming start-up contact Dastawezz today for formalities like company registration, drafting of the user-service agreement, disclaimer policy etc!!

[1] Vaishnavi Dayalani, Can Indian gaming startups leapfrog Chinese rivals after the ban,  INC 42 ( (Mar. 24 7:00 PM)

[1] Vaishnavi Dayalani, Can Indian gaming startups leapfrog Chinese rivals after the ban,  INC 42 ( (Mar. 24 7:00 PM)

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