Gaming today is one of the fastest growing industries in India and also one of the few industries that offers immense potential for self-employment/entrepreneurship for the youth of the country.
Recognising the potential that visual effects, gaming, and comic (AVGC) sector offers to employ youth in her Union budget speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced that an AVGC promotion task force with all stakeholders will be set-up to recommend ways to realise this and build domestic capacity for serving our markets and the global demand.
Welcoming the decision, experts from the gaming industry said the proposed task force will help develop a workforce of young and employable AVGC professionals who can transform India into a global player in the interactive entertainment space in the coming years.
Rahul Tewari, chief financial officer at online gaming company Games24x7, said AVGC taskforce can provide the long-term policy impetus and bring together the various stakeholders to turbocharge the vibrant ecosystem in gaming and animation.
“India has a deep and very high-quality talent pool of developers and creative artists who will transform India into a global player in the interactive entertainment space in the coming years. We hope this paves way for regularity clarity for gaming, a sector that has contributed immensely to India’s start-up success in the last few years," he said.
Roland Landers, CEO – The All-India Gaming Federation (AIGF), said the ideas proposed for the gaming sector are very encouraging. “We look forward to the AVGC task force that will give a major boost to the game development sector by building scale and adding to the overall online skill gaming industry’s momentum. AIGF and the skill games council of domain experts will be happy to assist, if need be, in playing a consultative role for the same.”
Landers added the tax extension to four years will benefit the entire start-up ecosystem in online gaming which is in the excess of 300 companies.
“The setting up of AVGC promotion task force can lead to a new job segment where employability will between 50,000 to 85000 in the coming years, as it has plans with AICTE guidance and support, there will be niche job oriented courses which will help employability to a larger extent . The opportunities in gaming will be in 3D animation, testers, VX, application development and new development towards metaverse will be areas to look at,” said Gautam Vohra, business head for telecom and engineering staffing at TeamLease Digital.
Akshay Bharadwaj, vice president and general manager at social game developer Zynga, said the proposed task force for the AVGC sector will help young professionals choose gaming as a career, create more job opportunities and drive economic growth as a result.
“At Zynga India, we have been focused on building world-class gaming experiences for a global audience for more than a decade now. We are also developing games for the mass market in the hybrid casual category. For us to continue to build games and grow them at an exponential scale, upskilling and growing India’s critical talent pool is essential. The need for talent is across product, engineering, game design, experience design, animation, visual effects and other art functions,” he said.
Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL) feels the setting up of an AVGC Promotion Task Force will provide a much-needed boost to the sector.
“It is also heartening to see the government's commitment to work with the industry, allowing for a balanced approach that accommodates the needs of all stakeholders and strengthens the ecosystem holistically. A progressive tax regime, predictable regulatory framework and supportive funding policies will allow the industry to compete on the world stage. Moreover, it will also help develop a workforce of young and employable AVGC professionals to usher in the next tech revolution from within India,” he said.
He added that with the positive support of the government, the coming years will see online gaming, VFX and esports startups leading the charge in the global economy. “By developing deep tech intellectual property and exporting services, they can help cement India’s position as a world leader in the sector,” he said.
“We are thrilled with the fact that the government has recognised the AVGC as a promising sector providing immense opportunity for the employment of youth. We see that the government has also identified AI (artificial intelligence) as an area which would offer employment to youth, this would be a definitive component of the gaming industry. Moreover, the move to set up a task force to build internal capabilities to cater to domestic and international demands will help provide the much-needed push to gaming companies and developers, “ added Ankur Singh, CEO and founder of gaming technology company Witzeal Technologies.