The gaming industry lauds the government’s decision to set up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics promotion task force
How the gaming industry stands to gain from the setting up of the AVGC promotion task force

The gaming industry lauds the government’s decision to set up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics promotion task force

How the gaming industry stands to gain from the setting up of the AVGC promotion task force
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will set up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) promotion task force for boosting talent in the animation and gaming sector.
  • We speak to experts from the industry to understand the larger implications of the move and how it will help the industry.
During her Union Budget speech yesterday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will set up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) promotion task force for boosting talent in the animation and gaming sector.

Sitharaman said the AVGC sector will provide a huge opportunity for young professionals and also create new job opportunities for the youth. “The AVGC sector offers immense potential to employ youth. An AVGC Promotion taskforce with all stakeholders will be set up to recommend ways to realize this and build domestic capacity for serving our markets and the global demand,” Sitharaman said during her speech.

The move is expected to attract new talent and give them the required support to take the AVGC sector global.

The AVGC sectors, and especially the gaming industry has been witnessing a healthy growth. Most industry reports have predicted that the next few years will contribute to immense growth for the industry. A recent report by Sequoia India and BCG had said that while the gaming industry in India is currently smaller than that of the US and China and is 1% of the global gaming market, it is generating $1.5 billion revenue and is expected to triple to over $5 billion by 2025 on the back of the ‘mobile first’ phenomenon. So the government’s move comes at an opportune time.

To understand the larger implications of the move, we spoke to experts from the gaming industry and here’s how they thought the government's move will give a boost to the segment:

Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League

It is very encouraging to see that the Union Budget has taken into consideration some of the long-pending suggestions for the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sector, while noting the strong potential this industry holds for employment-generation as well as taking ‘Made in India’ game titles global.

We welcome the Hon’ble Finance Minister's announcement to set up an AVGC Promotion Task Force to provide a much-needed boost to the sector. This announcement highlights the need to build capacity to serve both domestic and global markets, and is a strong indicator of the impetus that the government is willing to provide for its growth. 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 and fulfil the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for the Indian digital gaming sector to be a global powerhouse. Moreover, it will also help develop a workforce of young and employable AVGC professionals to usher in the next tech revolution from within India.

With a renewed focus on the AVGC sector, blended financing for deep tech and IT, hardware and electronics manufacturing combined with deployment of 5G and affordable internet in underserved areas, it is clear that the government is committed to take the Indian startup ecosystem to the next level.

We are hopeful 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.

Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, JetSynthesys
I strongly welcome the formation of a AVGC task force for promotion, something that we as an industry have been pushing for a long time. It is high time that animation, visual effects and gaming are recognised as an industry because of the sheer potential that they carry. Skyrocketing further owing to the pandemic, these industries have the power to create large employment as well as give Indian gaming companies an opportunity to become globally competitive and play an increasingly larger role at a global level. Building a task force that will address the needs of this industry across various ministries would be a very proactive approach towards strengthening this industry, in my opinion. The aim to rollout 5G services in FY 2022-23 along with affordable broadband services and efficient connectivity to allow equal access to e-services in remote and urban areas has also been long due.

The focus of Hon FM on new emerging technologies particularly like Blockchain and AI, a word which was repeated several times during the speech is again a very positive move to show that digitalisation is truly the future, and a strong focus area for government. Digitalisation was applied across agriculture, healthcare, skills, education and appeared in various shapes and forms throughout the budget speech. Additionally, the national tele-mental health programme is a great initiative by the government as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of people to an unfathomable extent. Various channels and platforms like ThinkRight.me by JetSynthesys and others in the space can together help tackle India's mental health issues. In all, we’re truly excited about the future of digital India and what this means to JetSynthesys which is here to play a key role in the daily digital lives of a billion Indians. As a country, we hope to move forward with jet speed and transform our country into an atmanirbhar, technologically and digitally forward nation.

Vishwalok Nath, Director, World Esports Cup

We welcome the steps by the Finance Minister of India as part of Budget 2022-2023 including the creation of the AVGC task force. We hope that this task force can help promote the creation of a robust infrastructure for game development with gradual benefits to the esports community. We are also looking forward to the 5G spectrum auction this year. 5G can further promote the latest innovations and mass adoption of technologies like cloud gaming in the country.

There is a huge scope of employment for the youth in the gaming industry. Esports/Video Games is a versatile industry and there is a huge scope for professional gamers as well as other jobs like casters, commentators, and other support staff appointed by the esports tournaments like producers, editors, analysts, product managers, game testers, referees, production crew members, event managers, social media managers, etc.

Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President, Asian Esports Federation

It is encouraging to finally see the seriousness from our Government towards this sector which has been long neglected. This will definitely help in setting up the policies which would encourage and build our capacities and capabilities to export to the rest of the world; leading to more domestic video game development studios and more investments in the AVGC sector. Spectrum auctions for 5G is a welcome move for the gaming industry as well, 5G can disrupt the industry by enhancing the live streaming of games and cloud gaming as well.

The task force should consist largely of people who have been part of the ‘Video Game’ industry and are playing an active role in shaping up the Indian video game industry.

Jehil Thakkar, Partner and Media and Entertainment Sector Leader, Deloitte India

The setting up of the AVGC promotion task force announced in the Union Budget will help India achieve its potential of achieving 20 lakh jobs according to Deloitte projections. These are critical skills for growth of the metaverse and India is poised to take advantage of this ecosystem.

Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan

It is this continued acceptance that will lead to the progress of the Indian gaming and esports industry. First was esports’ entry in the Asian Games as an official event followed by a government dedicated task force to work with the AVGC sector. I have no doubt that these initiatives as part of the national budget policy highlight the true potential of the Indian gaming & esports segment not only in India but also on the global circuit.

The statement clearly indicates the backing of homegrown game developers, tournament organizers, and esports companies and recommendations from the appointed task force will help build domestic capacity for serving out markets and the global demand as well.

Sunil Yadav, CEO, PlayerzPot

The AVGC sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in India, and attracts a huge interest from a large cross section of the population. The announcement of the new AVGC task force is a welcome one, as we expect it will help to build domestic capacity and also serve the global demand. The task force has come at the right time, for those pursuing a career in gaming as the sector is booming right now and needs more talented youngsters to grow. With the government introducing digital rupee and a visible trend in crypto adoption, NFT’s will grow significantly. 5G services auction within FY 22-23 across the country will play an important role in the growth by further penetrating in the markets and also enhancing the gaming experience.

As the honorable minister mentioned in her budget presentation, the gaming sector has the potential to become the torchbearer of 'Create in India' & 'Brand India', on the same lines we were hoping for transparent and progressive regulation that will help differentiate games of skill from those of chance, because this is a key area of concern for the industry as a whole.

Dilsher Singh Malhi, Founder & CEO, Zupee

The creation of the AVGC promotion task force is a welcome move. The initiative with industry participation will help in establishing uniform, progressive policies that will promote growth and investments in the sector, which in turn, will lead to job creation, revenue generation, and engagement opportunities. This will be a crucial step towards bridging the digital divide and unlocking a fully connected and empowered digital India. We believe that this initiative will pave the way for the Indian gaming industry to establish itself on a global stage.

Rahul Tewari, Chief Financial Officer, Games24x7

The gaming industry welcomes the decision to set up a task force for Animation, Visual Effect, Gaming and Comics. 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.

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies Ltd.

The government’s announcement of an AVGC task force to seek recommendation to create the way forward is a welcome move. As we know, India presently commands around 10% of the global AVGC market and has the potential to reach 20-25% by 2027. This taskforce will facilitate employment for the youth, build domestic capacity to serve the Indian markets and also meet global demand.

Roland Landers, CEO, The All-India Gaming Federation

I am pleased that the government has announced a progressive budget; stating the gaming industry as a sector that generates various job opportunities for the youth while boosting the economy of the country. The ideas proposed for the sector are very encouraging. We are thrilled and 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

Likewise, the tax extension to four years will benefit the entire start-up ecosystem in online gaming which is in the excess of 300 companies. Furthermore, the Hon’ble FM’s announcement of the digital rupee launch will increase purchases of virtual goods in games through microtransactions. Finally, 5G auctions when implemented will enhance the gamer experience dramatically as well as facilitate the adoption of new technologies in gaming. Overall, the budget has opened more avenues for the gaming industry.