Non Linear, Interactive and Immersive, Gaming has redefined Entertainment in the New Age.
Add to that the lethal potential of social networks, edu gaming and adver-gaming, and one gets a hunch that not only entertainment, gaming is in the midst of â€?turning upside downâ€™ quite a few other concepts too!
Another new phenomenon of our day and time â€?Globalisationâ€™, is again, changing a lot of things. Not restricted by borders, companies today modulate their processes, survey the globe as if it were local and then execute specific modules in hubs that are best suited for the job. We are moving towards a level playing field for the developed as well as developing nationsâ€¦.
With the same racing track for all the economies to dash on, the competitive spirit is intenseâ€¦. And just as in a relay race, the focus on collaboration is keyâ€¦
Speeding on the global gaming track, the UK Games Industry showcased the value that it has to offer, in terms of development and publishing as well as in being a big market for consumption of games at the recently held London Games Festival 2006 (London, October 2-7 2006).
Backed by Creative London, ELSPA, Tiga and BAFTA, the London Games Festival has also ensured that the UK now owns more dates on the International Gaming Events Calendar.
The week long festival was a bouquet of multiple events concurrently held at multiple locations. These included GDC London, London Games Career Fair, London Games Summit, The BAFTA Video Games Awards and the TIGA London Content Outsourcing and Middleware market.
Interestingly, there was a significant Indian Gaming presence at LGF this year, primarily due to the fact that iGita (Indian Gaming Industry Trade Association) had booked its own booth at the TIGA London Content Outsourcing and Middleware market. Indiagames Vishal Gondal and Dhruva Interactiveâ€™s Rajesh Rao & Shailesh along with Animation Bridge Biren Ghose represented iGita at the event.
Other Indian companies that participated at the Tiga Market included Rolta India (represented by Sachin Naik & Ranvir Singh), Trine Gaming Studios, Fruitions and Aurono. The Indian connection was also visible in the participation of Viking Outsourcing, Vbeing and Babel Media.
From an Indian perspective, the raising of awareness about the Indian Gaming Scenario and the growing collaboration between Tiga & iGita were the key highlights of the event.
The strength of the event was the Business â€?one on onesâ€™ at the networking area which was buzzing with activity. Also there were quite a few interesting ware exhibited such as Motion Capture Systems, Texture Generators, Game Engines, Network Emulators, Integration Solutions from companies such as Tao, Qube, Kynogon, Itheon Networks, Animazoo and Allegorithmic.
Overall, objectives of the iGita delegation included raising the awareness in the UK about Indian gaming and pursuing opportunities for collaboration, working closer with bodies and associations like Tiga, and most of all to make the educational institutions and exchanges aware about the tremendous opportunity there was in setting up high quality game development courses in India.
The gaming body was very ably assisted by the UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) which besides co-ordinating for the London Games Festival also organized visits to Norwich, Cambridge and the North East of England.
iGita was accompanied in these tours by representatives from Viking Outsourcing, Fruition and Animation Xpress.com. The delegation visited quite a few front-running developers, publishers as well as Universities that were at the forefront of UK game development education.
The Indian gaming companies eloquently articulated to their peers in the UK about how India was growing important by the day and of the many opportunities that existed in working together. One could not help but get overwhelmed with the conviction and precision that a Rajesh Rao communicated, or the acumen and finesse with which a Biren Ghose proposed opportunities for Indo â€“ UK collaboration in gaming.
The existence of a huge local market for consumption of games and the fact that the UK is, in many ways the gateway to the European market, makes it of strategic importance to International publishers and content creators. This scenario coupled with the inherent creative spirit of the UK spurs its game development scene (Nearly 80 developers).
What is striking about the UK gaming ecosystem is the existence of various bodies and associations which provide support for and nurture the creative Industries.
Tiga (For developers & middleware), Elspa (For publishers), Skillset (For nurturing talent and creating curriculums), UKFC (For films), Creative London (For supporting creative industries in London) etc. These bodies work hand in hand with the Government Bodies such as DTI (Department of Trade & Industry), UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) as well as with regional development agencies such as SDI (Scottish Development International), ONE (One North East) and SEMN (South East Media Network) to complete the support value chain.
Compared to the UK, when it comes to gaming, Indiaâ€™s strength (mostly potential) lies in its dynamism, in its vast population of youngsters, in its innovation and in its unique culture. Supported by the likes of NASSCOM and FICCI, and also with the formation of bodies like iGita, the Indian gaming industry too, has its fair share of support and unity.
What will be most interesting to observe in times to come will be how the Indian Gaming Story unfolds and what new directions it gives to the rapidly advancing phenomena of gaming, as gaming changes forever the way civilization relates to things.
And as change occurs, and Indian gaming grows and gradually gains in importance, it would be equally interesting to see which economies and markets are pro active in collaborating and taking advantage of partnering with India.
The potential mutual benefit in Indo – UK association, the Indians have shown. The seeds of collaboration they have sown.. the impact of the initiative, will soon be known.