At the presentation of the 2022 Union Budget this week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam announced plans to establish an Animation, Effects, Games and Comics (AVGC) Working Group. She noted that it aims to “recommend the realization” of job creation and “domestic capacity building” capabilities to meet growing demand in India and globally. Stakeholders welcomed the move and looked forward to seeing the government’s in the development of the AVGC industry in the country.

In her hour-and-a-half-long budget speech, Sitharaman stressed that the industry has huge potential to employ youth in the country.

As a follow-up to his budget speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the possibility of pushing animation and gaming in the country, while addressing his party staff through a virtual gathering.

Prime Minister Modi said the AVGC industry is expected to hit Rs. According to estimates, it will reach 300 million in the next two years.

“The point now is that we can’t stop our kids from playing games at home,” he stressed. “But will they just play games developed outside India, or will India do something on its own? So there is huge potential to give our country’s talent the opportunity to innovate – ‘create in India, create a brand in India’. “

Stakeholders take to actively promote animation and games. However, this is not the first time we have seen government interest in the AVGC industry. In fact, it announced plans to form an AVGC Centre of Excellence (CoE) in partnership with India’s Bombay Institute. The Karnataka government 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 a dedicated animation and game task force was a sign of legitimacy in the country’s gaming industry.

“Unlike software, video games are the intersection of disciplines such as art, design, technology and business and should be treated differently,” John said.

However, he mentioned that while the AVGC Working Group is a step in the right direction, it will be interesting to see how the planned development will execute to do justice to the video game medium.

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SuperGaming, a well-known mobile gaming company in India, is the developer of the hit game MaskGun, which is said to have been downloaded more than 60 million times.

Similar to John, Krafton’s India head Sean Hyunil Sohn welcomed the steps taken to form the outreach working group.

“This move will definitely boost local innovation, boost employment and job creation, and create new opportunities for upskilling people, such as gaming as a profession,” he said, adding that 2022 is a good year for the Indian gaming ecosystem. It will be a good year.

Krafton has gained global popularity for the PUBG franchise, though the South Korean company released Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) last year as the Indian incarnation of PUBG Mobile – after the government banned the original title.

Divya Sengupta, art director at Mumbai-based game studio Lost Ferry Interactive, noted that while the formation of the task force was a welcome announcement, the new agency wanted to consider establishing institutions of excellence to bridge the skill game and create incentives for foreign publishers to set up in the country. studio.

“India has a rich history, diversity and artistic talent, and there are many stories that can be told through the medium of video games and comics, but they need to be packaged to meet global standards. Currently, we are hindered by a huge skills gap,” she said. pointed out.

Lost Ferry Interactive is currently developing the third-person -adventure game Paperplanes, which will be available on PC and consoles. The studio also produces comics and art designs.

Gaming is already considered an option for job seekers in the country. A survey conducted by HP India last year showed that over 90% of respondents believe gaming is a viable career option, with 1,500 15-40 year olds surveyed.

Manish Agarwal, chief executive of Mumbai-based mobile gaming and entertainment company Nazara Technologies, agreed with the government’s goals and said the task force would boost youth employment.

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

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

“India’s gaming environment presents a great opportunity for Indian and global players to build games. So the idea of ​​building capabilities domestically to serve our market and global needs is a good move to boost the talent pool and content creation,” said Game Development and said Vishal Gondal, founder of publishing company nCore Games.

The Bengaluru-based company gained attention by releasing FAU-G just days after the country banned PUBG Mobile in 2020.

Apart from game studios and development companies, people in the nascent e-sports sector have also applauded the government’s task force plan.

“A progressive tax regime, predictable regulatory framework and supportive funding policies will enable the industry to compete on the world stage and realize the vision of the Honourable Prime Minister for the Indian digital gaming industry to become a global powerhouse,” Sai Srinivas, Co- Founder and CEO of Bangalore Mobile Premier League (MPL).

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

“Development has a lot of potential in India and will definitely benefit from such efforts,” he said. “However, I also urge policymakers to clearly understand and define the difference between gaming/esports; card games/skill games; fantasy sports and gambling.”

He added that policymakers, key industry leaders, and even the media tend to blur the lines between these very different spaces under the broad umbrella of video games, online games, online gaming, or just refer to everything as a game. and eSports.

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

Romeo Misao, head of India and South Asia marketing at Dubai-based esports company Galaxy Racer, said the gaming industry has the potential to contribute more to the country’s GDP and massive job creation.

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“While the formation of a working group will be a huge enabler, it will also be important to ensure continued innovation, ecosystem-wide collaboration, and rational allocation of funding to the right channels to ensure sustainable growth in the sector,” Miso said.

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

“The announcement from the AVGC Outreach Task Force reinforces the voice we’ve been raising for years,” said Anil Pant, managing director and CEO of career training services provider Aptech.

Mumbai-based Aptech owns Animation and MAAC, two of the country’s leading institutions for animation and games courses.

“The AVGC industry has the potential to create 75,000-1,20,000 jobs over the next 5 years, maybe more considering that many states are now actively promoting AVGC,” Pant said.

Jehil Thakkar, Partner and Head of Media and Entertainment at Deloitte India, noted that the establishment of the AVGC Outreach Task Force will help India realize the potential of 2 million jobs.

“These [AVGC] is a key skill for the development of the metaverse and India is ready 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 field will ultimately benefit Metaverse and enable India to compete on a global scale.

A November report by consulting firm RedSeer predicted that the country’s gaming market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 percent over the next five years to reach $7 billion (approximately Rs 52,300 crore).

Girish Menon, partner and head of media and entertainment at KPMG India, said the establishment of the AVGC working group will help the country meet domestic and global demand.

In June last year, KPMG said India’s gaming user base would grow from 433 million to 657 million by fiscal 2025. The country’s gaming market size is also expected to grow to Rs 2 million going forward. 29,000 crore in 2025. 136 million in fiscal 2021.



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