With citizens turning to online gaming during the nationwide lockdown had fuelled the growth of online gaming ecosystem in the country. Offering different genres of games including fantasy sports, casual games, and esports, even Paytm First Games saw uptake and has emerged as a popular platform for mobile gaming over this period. While over the last few quarters, it has grown to over 80 million registered users, currently Paytm First Games has over 25 million monthly active users and is expecting to cross 40 million in the next 2 months.
"There has been a 200 per cent growth in our user base and a 4X increase in gameplays in the first half of this year. Fantasy Cricket, Rummy, Ludo witnessed the highest engagement on the platform. What is interesting to observe is that while a large chunk of our monthly active users belongs to metropolitan cities, there has been an increasing contribution of the new users from tier-II, tier-III, and the rest of India towns," says Sudhanshu Gupta, COO - Paytm First Games.
In terms of overall traffic contribution for Paytm First Games Jaipur was at the top with Lucknow and Patna featuring in the top 5 cities. Ludhiana, Panipat, Kanpur, Meerut, Bhubaneshwar, Bardhaman, and Siliguri are in the top 25 cities when it comes to traffic contribution.
Even gaming habits have gone through a drastic transformation as the average age group of online gamers has increased from 18-35 years to almost 18-55 years. "The engagement time has increased to almost 45 minutes for an average user. Also, mobile gaming has become a way of socialising with friends and family members as a means of community entertainment," adds Gupta.
The platform was introduced as a way to increase engagement with Paytm users, and to take the association beyond just payments and transactions. Paytm wanted to tap into the significant potential of the fast-growing mobile gaming and entertainment market in the country. "It complements the Paytm ecosystem by enhancing its customer experience through a rich portfolio of games and entertainment content including casual games, contests, and sports games, combined with a rewarding and engaging winning experience," avers Gupta.
Paytm First Games started small by adding a few games at a time on the main Paytm app itself. "It soon gained massive popularity among our users. From quickly entering the app to make payments, availing services, or ordering on the platform and exiting, we saw more users sticking around to play games and staying on the app for much longer. Slowly our games platform became so big and promising that it only made sense to branch it into a separate app and expanding the number of games," says Gupta.
All skill games on the platform are developed in-house by the dedicated team of developers, gamers as well as designers. Paytm First Games even announced the creation of a Rs 10 crore fund to provide a launchpad to indigenous developers and design studios to promote their innovative games focused on Indian culture and folk tales. In terms of revenue, the way the majority of the players in the Indian gaming ecosystem generate their revenue from games of skills, Paytm First Games also has a similar business model.