Throughout India’s history, Cricket has long been the country’s favourite sport. In recent years, the bat-and-ball game has developed into far more than just a popular pastime, with it being a deep-rooted part of the local culture. However, following the rise of digitalisation, the sport’s leading status in India could be under threat because of the emergence of Gaming. According to a report from The Economic Times, India has recently developed into a top-five market regarding global mobile gaming. So, let’s consider whether changing social trends could result in a new favourite pastime in India.
The Promise of an Up-and-Coming Industry
It’s a testament to the ever-growing appeal of India’s rising mobile gaming industry that revenues are predicted to reach approximately £1.847 billion in 2020 concerning mobile platforms. Fundamentally, this showcases how numerous developers and event organisers have sought to explore the market’s undeniable potential. Despite that, India’s gaming market is still considered as being one of the biggest untapped gaming sectors across the globe, with further progression forecast for the coming years.
Fundamentally, this growth revolves around the accessibility and convenience of mobile gaming, as well as heightened market choice regarding available titles. For example, modern-day gamers are now able to enjoy console crossovers of popular titles, such as Fortnite and Call of Duty: Mobile. Aside from mainstream gaming, online casinos have also taken India by storm in recent years. At CasinoWings, many of the listed bonus-offering operators provide mobile-compatible experiences to prospective Indian players. As a result, users can immerse themselves in a wide array of different games, including live and real-money options.
India’s Most Popular Sport
Despite their apparent differences regarding format and industry, gaming has the potential to surpass cricket’s popularity in India. Throughout the past few decades, India has been the home to some of the sport’s best players, including Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virat Kohli, who has recently completed 12 years in international cricket. In turn, their success has inspired many local people to take up cricket. To showcase the game's popularity, in 2018, 93 per cent of sports spectators in India watched cricket, with up to 766 million tuning in to sports content.
Interestingly, when compared to gaming, the figures are somewhat similar. As mentioned above, India has 628 million gamers, and that is only likely to continue growing. Moreover, that’s in relation to participation as opposed to viewership. Should gaming continue to grow at a similar rate over the next decade, then it could undoubtedly surpass cricket from a numerical standpoint.
Exploring the Market Could See the Emergence of a New Favourite Pastime
Ultimately, while cricket will always be a fan-favorite sport in India, it’s a testament to the rising popularity of gaming that it’s even able to compete with the bat-and-ball sport. In terms of longevity, cricket will likely stand the test of time because of its cultural relevance, while gaming could potentially be a flash in the pan. However, that appears unlikely, particularly when you factor in the diverse outlook of the mobile market.