Game developers, artists and designers are in demand: Surojit Roy, CrazyLabs India
The gaming industry in India is surging, generating US$1.5bn in revenue. By 2025, it's expected to grow to US$5bn on the back of the 'mobile-first' phenomenon, according to the latest data from BCG-Sequoia India.
A plethora of small businesses and start-ups in the gaming space have been established in the past few years.
But does the Indian talent market have the right skills to serve the emerging gaming sector?
Surojit Roy, Head of Studio at CrazyLabs India, discusses the trends in the gaming industry, key skills in demand, and the challenge of managing talent in a fast-growing niche sector.
Contrary to the pandemic-driven slowdown businesses have faced, the gaming industry emerged stronger. What's driving this growth? How can companies in this sector make the most of the opportunity?
The pandemic caused most of the world to remain at home for an extended period of time. This led to people picking up new habits and finding more ways to entertain themselves. There was a direct impact on the gaming industry as, naturally, games became a medium that people looked to explore when trying to fill their free time.
Hyper-casual games, specifically, saw the biggest boom in the past couple of years as the games are targeted at the mass market. Hyper-casual games created hundreds of millions of new gamers who hadn't played a game on their smartphones before.
The impact of this growth will bleed into other parts of the gaming industry as well, as these new gamers and their needs evolve over the next few years. Trends that became popular in the pandemic also became hugely popular games, as evidenced by some CrazyLabs hit games like Tie Dye and Acrylic Nails.
How can the growing gaming industry impact the employment market? What are the key skills in demand?
As games become an ever more popular form of entertainment, the opportunities to create games and build a successful career in the industry keep multiplying.
Game developers, artists and designers are always in high demand in this ever-growing industry. There are a variety of opportunities across verticals, as games can be classified as hardcore, mid-core, casual and hyper-casual.
Publishers and game development studios will always be looking for top talent as markets become more and more competitive. There are a number of new opportunities as well, like our CrazyHubs Accelerators (currently in Mumbai and Hyderabad) where we are looking to incubate young teams in the field of hyper-casual game development and publishing. Applicants can receive funding to build their own hyper-casual game studio if selected, where a successful game can be a life-changing experience.
These skills are niche and not available in abundance. As the war for talent becomes much fiercer, how can companies attract top talent?
The landscape for finding top talent, especially in game development, has become increasingly difficult.
Companies immensely value their top people; for instance, those at the top tend to manage the most important aspects of massive projects that can include working with anywhere from 30 to 300 people, depending on the vertical.
In hyper-casual, top publishers know that the most attractive thing about this vertical is the fact that, in a short period of time, we're all working on a large number of games.
The games tend to be smaller in scope but appeal to more people. So, over the course of a year, a highly talented creative person gets to work on a number of different projects – which tends to be an attractive proposition.
Compare that to working in casual, mid-core or hardcore verticals of game development, an average employee would work on just one project over one or two years. Sometimes, they might even spend an entire year working on just a single feature.
What are some key talent challenges you have faced in the past couple of years? How have you been tackling these challenges?
Hyper-casual game development and publishing is a relatively new field, having only really emerged in 2018. This means that the depth of talent that exists in a market like India – while large in quantity – is severely lacking specialisation for this specific vertical.
Being involved in the training and education of the market at large is an important factor in bringing relevant players up to speed with what we do. Our CrazyHubs Accelerators form a critical part of how we intend to do this, with mentorship and financing opportunities, for teams who are selected for our program.