Delhi, Jaipur, Pune, Lucknow and Patna have emerged as the top five cities in India in terms of number of online gamers, according to the India Mobile Gaming Report 2021 (IMGR) released by Mobile Premier League (MPL), an esports and skill gaming platform.
Cities such as Pune, Lucknow and Patna, saw a huge number of players taking to mobile games in 2021, toppling big cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. While Mumbai and Bengaluru clinched sixth and seventh positions, Kolkata was at the 12th position.
Delhi has seen the highest number of gamers among all cities; Jaipur took the second spot. Jaipur also has the distinction of being the top city in the country in terms of the number of games played.
Pune toppled Mumbai last year with nearly 17% more gamers. The financial capital of India lost to its same state rival city as Pune saw an increase in the number of gamers in 2021 than Mumbai.
Carrom, Fruit Dart, Fruit Chop, Runner No.1 and Block Puzzle were some of the top games that were played across different Indian cities as per IMGR 2021.
Mobile esports like Chess and Pool also witnessed a sharp rise in the number of gamers in the country as the MPL platform alone registered 1.3 million esports players in 2021. While nearly half a million games were played on the platform, it recorded 17 million live viewership.
Numerous research reports suggest that increased availability of affordable smartphones coupled with high-speed internet has prompted many people to take up gaming across small cities and towns. In fact, mobile-based platforms for gaming have made it easier for many to access skill-based games and tournaments.
Consultancy firm EY mentioned in a recent report that the Indian domestic market for online gaming is estimated to grow from $906 million in 2019 to more than $2 billion in 2023 representing a CAGR of nearly 22%. This means the Indian market is expected to scale faster and become a meaningful contributor globally.
The EY report further elaborated that online gamers in India are estimated to grow from 360 million in 2020 to 510 million in 2022. Of these, an estimated 85% are mobile gamers.