- Indians have started playing video games more than ever now.
- They are now binge-gaming for over 5 hours, up from around 4 hours last year.
- Globally, smartphones are the most preferred devices for video gaming.
Even though PUBG Mobile was snatched away from Indians last year, the adoption of video games has soared to new heights, thanks to the pandemic that forced people to stay indoors for a better part of the year in 2020. A recent survey from online survey platform Limelight Networks has suggested that Indians spent more than 8 hours playing video games on average in a week, with most of the players devoting 7 to 12 hours each week. This figure towers over the average time of 8 hours and 27 minutes each week globally.
Indians have shown remarkable growth in adopting video games over the duration when they are stuck at homes. 28.6 per cent of Indians binge-game for 1-3 hours while the average hours for binge-gaming stand at 5.5. That is because over 7 per cent of players devote over 15 hours to gaming in one go, which is higher than the figures for players of China, South Korea, and the UK. According to the report, binge-gaming was up by 13 per cent this year from last year and is popular among people aged between 18 and 35. In India, the average for binge gaming has gone up from 4.1 hours to 5.5 hours between 2020 and 2021, the report said.
Smartphones are go-to devices for gaming
Video gaming has skyrocketed during the pandemic because people had fewer things to do at home and more time to kill. The spurt was also facilitated by easy access to handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The report has shown that the maximum time of total gaming was spent on mobile devices while the times spent on other devices, such as PC, consoles, and tablets were more or less the same. Interestingly, the gap between the time spent on mobile phones and the PC in India was very narrow, meaning Indians still give as much preference to PCs for video gaming.
Candy Crush crushed PUBG Mobile
When we talk about video gaming, the names that you are likely to take immediately are PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty, or Garena Free Fire. That is because these mobile titles have kept a large community of gamers engaged while enticing new ones with the features they have to offer. But you will be surprised to know that these games are not the most popular ones in India -- or the US or China, for that matter. Limelight's report has underscored that casual single-player games such as Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans constitute the largest share among the gaming titles. A whopping 93.8 per cent of total Indian players are hooked to Candy Crush while 82.8 per cent have shown an inclination towards battle royale games such as PUBG Mobile and Fortnite.
Fast performance important
Apart from some India-specific data, the report has outlined some global insights on how video gaming has evolved over the years. The biggest contributor to this spike in adoption is the kind of devices that are available in the market. Games are supported on every sort of device today but because there is a wide variety, people have preferences for what can provide them with the best gaming experience. According to the report, five in 10 gamers in the APAC region cited fast performance as an important aspect of gaming. In India, 53.4 per cent of gamers were in favour, which is the highest among other categories.
Moreover, 84 per cent of the players from this region have said the process of downloading games is frustrating. Indians, specifically, are more likely to get frustrated when the download process is interrupted and needs to be started from the beginning. There are solutions already available to this frustration, such as Google Stadia and Xbox's xCloud but they are not widely available in Asian markets and might take some time for that.
Little gender gaps
According to the report, both males and females were equally engaged in video gaming, showing very little differences in their playing times. While males played video games for an average of 8.5 hours each week, the females came close to it with 8.4 average hours. Gamers aged 36-45 played the maximum number of hours but those in their 60s gave a tough fight with an average of 8.33 hours a week.
Gamers, as cited in the report, have switched to gaming largely because they wanted to kill time during the pandemic. But that is just a reason. The report has shown that 53 per cent of gamers made new friends online while gaming while 36 per cent responded that interactions with other players are important for gaming. This not only boosted gaming as a whole but also gave new ways to people to form friendships while they could not go outside.
Limelight's report, termed "The State of Online Gaming - 2021" is based on the data collected from 500 responses each from people in India, China, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam -- totalling 4000 responses. Survey responses were collected between January 5 and January 12, 2021.