India's mobile games market will reach revenues of $1.1 billion by 2020, according to a new report.
App Annie has partnered with the NASSCOM Gaming Forum to publish a report on India's mobile games sector.
The report, released during the NASSCOM Game Developer Conference 2016 in Hyderabad, forecasts Indian mobile gaming revenues on the rise.
The research revealed that India broke into the worldwide top five for mobile game downloads in Q2 2016.
This puts India behind only the US, China, Brazil and Russia. The report attributes this to the low-cost Android handsets that have driven widespread smartphone adoption in the country.
Downloads up, but what's next?
Google Play's continuing dominance is clear, generating 13 times more Indian game downloads than the App Store in in Q2 2016.
Across both mobile marketplaces, the number of game downloads in Q2 2016 was more than double the same figure two years earlier.
But what of monetisation? It's proven the most difficult challenge for mobile developers in the Indian market, but App Annie identifies signs of change.
The market intelligence firm's App Market Maturity Model identifies downloads, usage and revenue as being "deeply intertwined".
Simply put, this means that India's hypergrowth in downloads and 30% increase in overall time spent in mobile games are early indicators that monetisation will be the next area of significant increase.
It's already starting to happen, with Indian mobile game revenues growing to $16 million in Q2 2016 - up 80% on Q2 2014.
The fact that iOS still accounts for 50% of revenue, despite its low market share, remains a cause for concern. However, this figure is actually down from 70% in Q2 2014.
That Google Play revenues are starting to level out suggests an increasing willingness to spend among the nation's majority of Android-owning, free-to-play gamers.
The launch of prepaid Google Play vouchers, carrier billing and lower IAP tiers of Rs 50 and Rs 10 are all suggested as possible reasons for this continuing growth.
There are few surprises in the games that have driven growth in the Indian market.
Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Kings made up India's top three grossing in Q2 2016.
Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Kings made up the top three grossing in Q2 2016, with strategy the top genre by revenue.
Social and multiplayer elements have also been noted as important for the Indian market - as indeed they are everywhere - with Clash of Clans taking top spot for time spent in-game.
However, the power of local content can also be seen in the fact that three mobile games based on Indian card game Teen Patti - Teen Patti, Ultimate Team Patti and Teen Patti Gold - are all in India's top 10 grossing for the App Store and Google Play combined in Q2 2016.
On the rise
App Annie forecasts that Indian game downloads will more than double to 1.6 billion in 2016. By 2020, this number will be 5.3 billion.
And with engaged players beginning to spend more time in games and paying for in-app purchases, it predicts a compound annual growth rate of 87% for revenues as they reach $1.1 billion by 2020.
“At NASSCOM Gaming Forum we are excited by these findings and the opportunities these give to both local developers and publishers," said NASSCOM Gaming Forum Chairman Rajesh Rao.
"[We] look forward to continuing to build a thriving and innovative games economy in India”.
You can read the full report from App Annie here.