Global giants see big gaming play in India

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on July 06, 2018

Form a body; expect to generate 5 lakh jobs in one year


Global internet giants Google, Microsoft and several others are coming together to chase the highly lucrative gaming market in India by forming the Indian Digital Gaming Society (IDGS), which will advocate, catalyse and facilitate the growth and capability building of the gaming industry in India.

“The mission of IDGS is to work closely with the government towards enabling the growth of the digital gaming industry, collaborate with experts from academia and the industry to optimise the industry’s development capabilities,” Rajan Navani, CEO and Vice-Chairman at JetSynthesys and the gaming body’s first President, told BusinessLine.

Navani said the industry has a potential to create over 5 lakh jobs per year and that number can grow further with the use of gaming in different industries. “The Indian Digital Gaming Society’s expectations from the government are focussed on three pillars: to represent the gaming industry’s perspective, its aspirations and concerns, to policymakers for the emergence of new technological opportunities in gaming application, to review the progress of development by way of sustained engagement with the government, innovators, manufacturers, and other stakeholders and to maximise potential by participating with national and State governments in policy formulations,” Navani said. He expects game development engineers, designers and artists would be required to support the growth of gaming in India.

Growth prospects

The Indian digital gaming industry is pegged at about $900 million, expected to cross the billion dollar mark in the next one year. Navani’s own company JetSynthesys, which provides a platform for PC gaming called Steam as well as a technology platform for brands to create games for promotions, has seen 300 per cent growth in the last one year itself.

“We expect to grow 400 per cent this year,” Navani said. JetSynthesys recently exited from its 50 per cent investment in a gaming company called Nodwin, which was recently acquired by Nazara Technologies.

“We’ve been able to exit a couple of investments in two-and-a half years. We owned 50 per cent in an e-sport venture called Nodwin, where we exited with 60x multiple in just two-and-a half years,” Navani said.

Nazara itself is heading towards the gaming industry’s first ₹1,000 crore IPO.

According to Navani, the industry has come out of its worst phase and is now headed for a massive growth.

“One of the key inhibitors for the gaming industry was the lack of internet connectivity. With 4G and low data costs, now’s the right time to look at what infrastructure does the government further needs to build to enable this industry. Demonetisation has helped a lot because now access to online payments has become very easy, allowing people to easily pay for games online,” Navani said.

Impact of digital payments

Navani said the impact of digital payments is already visible through spike in online sales for PC games. The company manages the India business of Steam, the largest PC gaming platform in the world.

“The day we were able to allow Indian credit cards, cash-on-delivery mechanisms for people to pay on Steam, it completely changed the industry. The business we did in 3 days was more than the business done in the previous 300 days,” Navani pointed out.

Published on July 05, 2018

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