Online fantasy gaming is mainly a type of gaming often played over the internet, where enthusiasts participate and assemble a virtual team of real professional sports players. It offers a broad range of traits that include increased learning ability, better decision-making ability, efficient planning, and the ability to earn money and rewards. Online fantasy gaming has witnessed substantial growth in the last few years because of the surge in internet connectivity across the globe.
Growing consumer awareness towards interactive entertainment systems, increasing penetration of smartphone devices, and growing consumer disposable incomes fuel the market growth. However, some of the government regulations of banning online gambling might hinder market growth.
The global online fantasy gaming was valued at USD 41.8 billion, growing at a CAGR of 21.2% during the forecast period.
Over the last few years, online fantasy gaming has witnessed a significant surge across the globe. The growth is attributed to the increasing smartphone and internet connectivity rate. For instance, according to an IDC report, 72% of users use smartphones mainly in developing nations such as; India, China, and Indonesia. Thus, increasing smartphone adoption is anticipated to pave the way for the online fantasy gaming market. Moreover, increasing start-ups for online gaming include; Junglee, Rummy, bet 365, and some of the casual games on account of surge in internet connectivity such as; 4G LTE and the emergence of 5G connectivity also one of the factors that bolster the market growth. For instance, according to industry experts, both the Google play store and Apple store has witnessed a significant surge in downloads of games apps. This depicts the increasing demand for online fantasy gaming worldwide.
The global online fantasy gaming has been segment into type, age group, and platform type.
Based on type, the global online fantasy gaming market has been segmented into mobile games, pay-to-play games, free-to-play games, and pay-in-play games.
Free to play games holds the largest market share than other segments and is expected to witness growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increasing smartphones penetration rate, which offers remote gaming options to the enthusiast. Moreover, the offering of various genres in free to play gaming that includes; sports, crimes, and various western-style games also propels the market growth.
For instance, popular Player Unknown's Battlegrounds by giant tech Tencent which caters to millions of attraction increases the demand for free to play gaming.
The global online fantasy gaming has been segmented into young adults, adults, and senior adults based on the age group.
Young Adults holds higher CAGR and is anticipated to witness growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increasing popularity of online fantasy gaming among young adults across the globe. For instance, according to Statista 2019, 65% of online fantasy gamers fall in the age group of 18-24. This enables increasing demand for online fantasy gaming across the globe. This led to increasing investment among tech giants to tap the emerging market of online fantasy gaming.
For instance, in September 2020, GoodGamer Corp launched India's first daily fantasy sports gaming app features such as; private contests, player injuries alerts, player injury reports, and fantasy contests.
On the basis of platform type, the global online fantasy gaming market has been segmented into smartphones, tablets, and PC.
The smartphone segment holds a higher CAGR comparable to others and is expected to witness growth during the forecast period. The growth is due to the growing penetration rate of smartphones across the globe, mainly in developing nations such as India, China, and Indonesia. For instance, the following figure depicts the surge in smartphone users from 2016-2019. This enables increasing demand for smartphones for a broad range of applications such as gaming, entertainment, and infotainment, among others.
The increasing affordability cost of smartphones and growing disposable incomes of consumers are also factors propelling the market growth.
Source: Statista, 2020
The impact of COVID-19 has a devastating effect on all industry verticals globally. However, online fantasy gaming has witnessed twofold growth during the pandemic COVID-19 on account of stringent government regulations such as; shut down of business operations that include; offices, schools, colleges and universities, cross-border activities, and social distancing norms, among others. This enables young consumers to adopt online fantasy gaming as a free option, thereby increasing demand amid pandemic COVID-19. Also, the opening of real sports events such as football and cricket led to increasing demand for the online fantasy gaming market.
North America holds significant growth in online fantasy gaming market and is expected to witness growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to presence of key players offering online fantasy gaming that includes; Fun Technologies, Playdom and Arkadium among others. Moreover, increasing popularity of various entertainment options among young generation in the region is also one of the factors fueling the market growth.
Additionally, early adoption of technology in the region to enhance consumer experience bolsters the market growth. Furthermore, growing penetration of online fantasy gaming in social media platform increases the awareness among youth which in turn enhance the market growth in the region.
In January 2019, Scout Gaming launched iGaming to offers fantasy sports products to leading casino operator Logrand Entertainment Group.
Asia-Pacific holds the largest market share and is anticipated to grow during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to increasing internet connectivity and smartphone penetration in developing economies such as China, India, and Indonesia. Moreover, the increasing popularity of real sports events in developing nations such as India also bolsters the market growth.
For instance, the emergence of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has led to increasing demand for online fantasy gaming in the nation, such as; Dream 11, Fantasy Cricket League, and Cricket 11, among others. Furthermore, increasing disposable income of the consumers in developing nations, which led to smartphones' adoption, is anticipated to enhance the market growth. Also, the offering of online gaming in regional languages further fosters market growth.
The key players in the global online fantasy gaming market believe in an organic growth strategy that includes; investment in R&D, product innovation, and upgrading in the existing product. Some of the prominent key players are; Peak Games Fun Technologies, Arkadium, Playdom, and King, Bwin. Party, Electronics Arts, Gree, MIGO Studio, GO Gaming Online Pvt Ltd, Tencent, Zapak, fanfight, Dream11, 11Wickets, Cricplay, and MPL.