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KAVGC SUMMIT 2011- Gaming Industry – Playing the game

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(L to R) Rajat Ojha, President, Version2Games;Maruti Shankar, CEO, 7 Seas; A Ramesh, Kreeda Games, Maltesh Mattennavar, Asset Supervisor, Gaming Division, Technicolor India and Hanif Mohammed, CEO, Aiga.

The panel discussion on Gaming Industry at the KAVGC Summit and ABAI Fest 2011 yesterday saw an interesting mix of panelists and views. The panel moderated by Anand Gurnani, CEO, AnimationXpress.com, included Rajat Ojha, President, Version2Games; Maruti Shankar, CEO, 7 Seas; A Ramesh, Kreeda Games, Maltesh Mattennavar, Asset Supervisor, Gaming Division, Technicolor India and Hanif Mohammed, CEO, Aiga.

The discussion began with the panelists stating their opinion about the future of Indian Gaming Industry. According to Rajat Ojha the global gaming industry stands at approximately 65 billion USD with the growth rate of 8-9% whereas Indian Gaming Industry is about 10 billion INR with the growth rate of 30-35% annually. So India has the potential and is contributing to the growth of the industry as well.

A Ramesh stated that with the emergence of iPhone, iPad, Android the growth of gaming industry is shooting up. According to the panelists there are some 80 game development studios in India with 20000 game development artists.

“India has got artistic talent which is ever increasing. Abroad the artists are very specific for example the vehicle designer will not create armours or any other kind of object but Indian artist creates all sort of objects”, Maltesh added.

When Maruti asked the audience if they have either heard or played the game Farmville the entire audience raised their hand. Taking cue from it Maruti pointed out, “Social gaming is picking up in India and mobile gaming is closely following it. Now gaming sites like Ibibo and Zapak also have the social site pages on their websites”.

According to Hanif emergence of small game studios in the recent times and their quality work is a big improvement for the industry. “We have students from 19 different states from India and also international students from Korea and other countries. We are closely in touch with the industry and trying to bridge the gap between the industry requirements and the syllabus we teach”, Hanif added.

Maltesh said that the gaming division in Technicolor India mostly does the outsource work like build assets and art for the international gaming studios. “We may do the programming in future but can’t commit about it”. Ramesh from Kreeda openly welcomed any new game enthusiast saying, “We have an open policy for any game artist who has an idea, come forward pitch it and we would find a way to work together and develop a game”.

Rajat Ojha from Version2Games stated, “We focus mostly on concept development for PS3 platform. We do consoles because we have an 18 year old history of simulations. Our game Smash & Survival (SNS) is releasing this September in the US market and in October the game will be released in the European market”. The panelist agreed that the industry needs flash programmers and anyone who knows HTML 5 is all set to enter the industry.

When Anand Gurnani asked the panelists what would they like to see in the soon to be announced policy of the Karnataka Government for the Animation and Gaming Industry, the panel had different views to share. Rajat wanted the courses for the animation and gaming students to be University certified so that the students wouldn’t face difficulties for student bank loans and visas.

Maruti wants government to encourage and support the independent gaming studios by providing some incentives, tax benefits and training academy. Ramesh was of the view that talent needs to be tried and tested so he would like to see some free zones like Dubai New City to come up in India where anyone from anywhere can come and start a gaming studio. This according to him will increase cross culture interaction and will provide more exposure to Indian gaming industry.

Hanif wanted funding to develop talent. And for all these benefits Rajat in return promised the government that if the government incorporates these things in the policy ‘we can promise them the growth of Indian gaming industry’.

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