The government’s decision to form a game animation and promotion team is seen as a strong growth impetus

The government’s decision to form a game animation and promotion team is seen as a strong growth impetus

The government's decision to form a game animation and promotion team is seen as a strong growth impetus

During the presentation of the Union Budget 2022 this week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam announced plans to set up a Task Force on Promoting Animation, Visual Effects, Games and Comics (AVGC). ). It aims to “recommend ways to realize” the ability to create jobs and “build national capacity” to meet the growing demand in India and globally, she noted. Stakeholders have welcomed this decision and are looking forward to seeing the government’s participation in the growth of the AVGC sector in the country.

Sitharaman, in his over an hour and a half budget speech, pointed out that the sector has immense potential to employ the youth in the country.

Following on from the budget speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted opportunities to boost entertainment and games in the country while addressing his party workers through a virtual meet-and-greet.

Prime Minister Modi said the AVGC sector is estimated to reach Rs. 3 lakh crore in the next two years.

“Now the fact is that we cannot prevent our child from playing games in the family,” he stressed. “But, will they just play games developed outside India or will India do something on its own? Therefore, in order to give our country’s talent a chance to innovate, there is huge potential to ‘Create in India and Score in India’. »

Actors who are mobilizing to positively promote animation and gaming. However, this is not the first time that we have seen the government take an interest in the AVGC sector. In fact, he announced his intention to establish an AVGC Center of Excellence (CoE) in partnership with the Indian Institute of Bombay. The state government of Karnataka also launched the AVGC CoE in Bengaluru last month.

Roby John, co-founder and CEO of Pune-based game development company SuperGaming, said the announcement of the formation of the dedicated Animation and Games Promotion Task Force was a boost to legitimacy for the gambling industry in the country.

“Video games, unlike software, are at the intersection of disciplines – art, design, technology and business, and should be treated differently,” John said.

He did, however, mention that if the AVGC Promotion Task Force is a step in the right direction, it would be interesting to see how the planned development would be executed to do justice to the medium of video games.

SuperGaming is a well-known mobile game company in India and is the developer of the popular title MaskGun which is said to have surpassed 60 million downloads.

Like John, Krafton’s Indian manager Sean Hyunil Sohn welcomed the steps taken to form the promotion task force.

“This move will certainly help foster local innovation, spur employment and job creation, and create new opportunities for talent development, such as gaming as a career,” he said. , adding that 2022 would be a great year for India’s gaming ecosystem.

Krafton is globally popular for the PUBG franchise, although the South Korean company released Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) as the Indian avatar of PUBG Mobile last year – following the original title’s ban by the government.

Diya Sengupta, art director of Mumbai-based game studio Lost Ferry Interactive, noted that while the establishment of the task force is a welcome announcement, the new body hopes to consider the establishment of institutes of excellence to link game address and create incentives. foreign publishers to establish studios in the country.

“India, with its rich history, diversity and artistry, has a lot of stories to tell through video games and comics, but they need to be packaged to meet global standards. Currently, we are hampered by huge skills gap,” she said.

Lost Ferry Interactive is currently working on a third-person action-adventure game Paperplanes which will be available on PC and consoles. The studio also produces comics and art drawings.

The game is already considered a choice for job seekers in the country. A survey conducted by HP India last year, which was answered by 1,500 people between the ages of 15 and 40, showed that more than 90% of respondents considered gambling to be a viable career option.

Manish Agarwal, CEO of Mumbai-based mobile games and entertainment company Nazara Technologies, agreed with the government’s target and said the task force would facilitate youth employment.

“India currently controls around 10% of the global AVGC market and has the potential to reach 20-25% by 2027,” he said.

Nazara Technologies is said to have over 100 million monthly active users and its network includes esports company Nodwin Gaming as well as esports-focused online publication Sportskeeda.

“The Indian gaming landscape offers great opportunities to create games for Indian and global gamers. Therefore, the idea of ​​looking within to build domestic capabilities to serve our markets and global demands is a good move. to drive the talent pool and content creation,” said Vishal Gondal, founder of game development and publishing company nCore Games.

The Bengaluru-based company has caught the eye for releasing FAU-G just days after PUBG Mobile was banned in the country in 2020.

Alongside game studios and development companies, players in the emerging esports space welcome the government task force plan.

“A progressive tax regime, predictable regulatory framework and supportive funding policies will enable the industry to compete on the global stage and realize the Honorable Prime Minister’s vision for India’s digital gaming industry to be a world power,” said Sai Srinivas, Co. -Founder and CEO of the Bengaluru-based Mobile Premier League (MPL).

Ishaan Arya, co-founder of Bengaluru’s The Esports Club, said the government’s decision was an encouraging sign for the gaming industry.

“Development is something that has a lot of potential in India and will definitely benefit from efforts like this,” he said. “However, with this, I also urge policy makers to understand and clearly define the difference between gaming/esports; card games/games of skill; fantasy sports and games of chance.

He added that too often policy makers, top industry executives and even the media tend to blur the lines between these very distinct spaces under a wide range of online games, online games, online games or just call all things gaming and esports.

“This makes it very difficult for businesses to understand and comply with applicable laws and confuses a large portion of potential customers,” Arya said.

Romeo Misao, head of marketing for India and South Asia at Dubai-based esports company Galaxy Racer, said the gaming industry has the potential to enable a higher contribution to the country’s GDP and huge job creation opportunities.

“While forming a working group would be a huge enabler, it would be equally essential to ensure continued innovation, ecosystem-wide collaboration, and a well-planned and balanced allocation of funds to the right channels to ensure sustainable growth for this sector,” said Misao.

Gamers and gaming-focused content creators in the country see the government’s plan for a promotion task force as a sign of their potential audience expansion.

Animesh Agarwal, who gained popularity for his 8bit Thug YouTube channel which has over a million subscribers, said the focus on AVGC in the budget speech would boost gamer confidence in the country. .

“There is an outpouring of happiness and contentment in the community with the government trying to work towards building the gaming industry,” said Agarwal, who also owns an esports team known as Team 8bit.

Institutions offering non-formal courses in animation and games believe that the government’s plan to promote AVGC makes the future bright for current and new students.

“The announcement of the AVGC Advocacy Task Force reinforces our voice that we have raised over the years,” said Anil Pant, Managing Director and CEO of professional training services provider Aptech.

Mumbai-based Aptech owns Arena Animation and MAAC, two renowned institutes for animation and gaming courses in the country.

“The AVGC sector has the potential to create 75,000 to 120,000 jobs over the next 5 years, possibly more given that many states are actively promoting AVGC,” Pant said.

Jehil Thakkar, Deloitte India Partner and Head of Media and Entertainment, noted that setting up the AVGC Promotion Task Force would help India reach its potential of creating 20 lakh jobs.

“These are (AVGC) core skills for the growth of the metaverse and India is poised to take advantage of this ecosystem,” he said.

Saurabh Gupta, co-founder and CEO of social gaming platform Tamasha Live, also noted that upskilling professionals in the AVGC industry would eventually benefit the growth of the metaverse and enable India to compete globally.

A report by consultancy firm RedSeer in November predicted that the gambling market in the country would grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% to reach $7 billion (approximately Rs 52,300 crore) over the next five coming years.

Girish Menon, partner and head of media and entertainment at KPMG in India, said the formation of the AVGC task force would help the country meet domestic and global demands.

In June last year, KPMG said that India’s gaming user base would grow from 433 million to 657 million in fiscal year 2025. The size of the gaming market in the country is also expected to grow to Rs. 29,000 crore in 2025 from Rs. 13,600 crore in financial year 2021.

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