Niko Partners went over the data in a new report, which also reveals that the group is starting coverage for the country, adding it to its repertoire along with China, Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei.
Over 400 million people in India have smartphones, making it second only to China. India has the world’s second highest population at over 1.3 billion. However, the country has never had a big industry for console or PC gaming. Smartphones, however, are bringing gaming to the masses in India, and battle royales like PUBG Mobile are leading the way.
PUBG Mobile was the most popular mobile game in India in September 2019 in terms of downloads and revenue. The title launched in India back in March 2018.
India’s next most popular mobile game is also a battle royale, Garena Free Fire. Garena has gained popularity because it is able to run on lower-end smartphones. Its success has even resulted in Tencent releasing PUBG Mobile Lite, a version of that game designed for lower-end smartphones. PUBG Mobile Lite came out in July, but it already accounts for 35% of PUBG Mobile’s downloads in India.
But not everyone in the country is thrilled about the popularity of battle royale games like PUBG Mobile in India.
“In fact, the game became too popular for Indian authorities who said the game was responsible for violence and poor grades among young people,” Niko Partners notes. “Authorities in some cities even went as far as to ban the game, although we note that the game was never taken down from app stores and the ban was only enforced if the police saw people playing the game in public.”