Things that can be done for the Indian gaming sector to flourish more

Today gaming and esports holds the biggest pie of the Indian entertainment industry. The industry witnessed how it skyrocketed while each one practiced social distancing by staying and working from home. The first nine months of 2020 saw India rise to the number one spot in gaming, especially for the mobile game downloads, clocking 7.3 billion installs and raking in a 17 per cent market share of the installs volume, as per SensorTower’s data. 2020 has already brought forward a few quarters of player growth and gaming has emerged as a scalable leisure option at the intersection of sports and entertainment.

As India enters the golden decade of gaming, the numbers in terms of revenue as well as penetration is going to be big. The revenue growth will be driven by number of player retention, cost, new releases, enhancement, updates, in game or premium game purchases, expenses on gaming devices for enhanced gameplay experience. Not just that, there is esports, gaming hardware, software, content creation and even gaming as education. To control such a massive industry, it is essential to know how to manage the expansive gaming market.

Very recently the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with IIT Bombay decided to form a Centre of Excellence in gaming and other related areas, said union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar, and classes on it to commence soon. Apart from that there are various institutes like Backstage Pass and more, which have encouraged society to take gaming as a viable career option. The paradigm shift of gaming for leisure to gaming for career requires serious measurements to be taken so that the industry could flourish even more as there are still challenges like these:

Flying Robot Studios co-founder Satyajit Chakraborty told AnimationXpress, “Indian market is not mature enough to sustain game developers who only target the Indian Audience.”

GodSpeed Games MD Ranbeer Hora shared, “One of the biggest challenges is on the skills front. You won’t find many programmers in India with expertise on making games for consoles. We have a huge pool of talent when it comes to creating content for mobile gaming, but little do we explore the other platforms. The other challenge that most of the studios face is from the hardware front. The Development Kits have to be imported to India and it requires heavy investment in purchase and then custom duties front.”

Nextgen Studios initiator Neha Bagga commented, “Getting vendors is pretty tough, to reach them is a herculean task for many small indies. Outsourcing is a bit easier due to availability of multiple platforms like freelancers, upwork and so on.”

Apart from that there are ample of problems like lack of proper rulebook/guide for real money gaming, strict awareness amongst parents on what type of gaming their children should play as per their age, and so on.

According to FICCI there are few initiatives proposed by the gaming industry stakeholders to achieve its potential growth in the coming time. They are as follows:

  •  Identify a nodal ministry to enable clarity of regulation and a single point to get issues resolved.
  • Enable self-regulation mechanisms to ensure fair play, child safety, compliance with a content code, security, privacy, random number generation certification, and more.
  • Create a haven for game publishers in India through lower taxes and/or incentives to enable onshoring of the $129 billion game publishing sector
  • Incentivize global game development centers into India to enable Make in India for the world. Plan for game process outsourcing into India — promote the scalable hosting of game technology development, game design, game layering and revenue back-office functions.
  • Remove the confusion between gaming, gambling, esports and betting — pass a common national law on what is permitted to align central and state government perspectives.
  • Build esports arenas alongside national stadia to enable hosting of international events.