Lakshya to expand in India; likely to open gaming studio in North-East

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on December 24, 2019

Manvendra Shukul, the Founder and CEO of Lakshya   -  Special Arrangement

Talent crunch hits India as game development service business beckons


With India emerging as a key game development services destination, Lakshya Digital, one of the earliest gaming development companies in the country, is planning to expand its operations in the country by opening a game development studio.

Though the firm has not taken a call on the location, it is considering West Bengal or the North-Eastern region to set up the new centre.

The firm, which has development facilities in Gurgaon, Pune, Seattle and Tokyo, is planning to double its headcount in the next 3-4 years, keeping in view the increasing volumes of outsourced game development work to the country.

The 15-year-old company, which started off its operations with just six people in 2004, now has about 500 employees. It was acquired by the United Kingdom (UK)-based KeyWords in 2015.

Manvendra Shukul, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lakshya, has said that while India is emerging as a key player in the game development services space, it is beset with lack of trained human resources. “You need to have skilled people that can match the quality requirements of global players,” he said.

At $140 billion, the gaming industry outpaces the film industry. “Even if we assume that at least 10-15 per cent of this work comes to India, it will be a huge opportunity. But we need to work on developing skills. The global gaming industry is forecast to grow to $180 billion by 2022-23,” he said.

One of the co-founders of NASSCOM’s Gaming Forum, which is shaping up as an independent Gaming Development players association, Manvendra said the industry is working on to prepare standards and benchmarks to ensure quality of the work the country does.

Cost of development

He said there is a sharp increase in the cost of development of games, making gaming companies in the West to look at outsourcing the development part to companies in India and China. The increase in complexity of games too made it difficult for firms to develop games themselves.

“It used to cost about $2 milion for a team of five-six people to develop a game. Now, the cost has gone up to $25-30 million as the games turn complex with consoles and newer technologies. The number of people required to develop games too has gone up to 60-100,” he said.

Considering the fact that the success rate is only 8-10 per cent, it would be very difficult for gaming publishers to develop games on their own.

“Outsourcing work to offshore locations could mean savings up to 30-35 per cent. Now, some gaming companies in the West have only a handful of employees, as the burden of forming a team is transferred to the companies that are offering development services,” he said.

He said the country is witnessing a surge in the gaming activity as the millennials, who grew up playing games, are now in a position to buy games and develop games themselves.

Published on December 24, 2019

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