The gaming space in India is growing at a fast pace and is estimated to reach $1 billion by 2021. With the Budget 2019 around the corner, the industry expects the government to focus on this sector as well.
“For gaming to thrive and catch up at the global level, the government needs to provide support,” said Kashyap Reddy, CEO and Co-founder of Hitwicket, adding that Germany has established a national-level 50 million euro ‘Annual Gaming Fund’ this year.
“Lowering the goods and services tax (GST) on gaming revenue and cloud services to 5 percent would also be a good initiative,” he said.
In a country where people are entertainment starved, gaming is one of the cheapest forms of interactive entertainment. Mobiles games have made games accessible to a vast majority of Indians for the first time.
“Interestingly, unlike personal computer or console games, mobile phone games usually follow a ‘free to play’ model. This is why gaming in India is at a unique intersection of technology and creativity,” Reddy added.
“Games cater to the global markets and there is immense scope for creating jobs in this field,” he said.
While China has as many as 10 gaming unicorns, India has one. But the market looks to be catching up soon thanks to fantasy sports and mobile gaming, which are expected to rise in the near future.
Paavan Nanda, Co-Founder, WinZO Games is optimistic about the Indian gaming space. “It is poised for strong growth surpassing China, owing to the growing youth population,” he said. He thus expects a formalised bill along with pointed regulations around online gaming.
“Favorable regulations across online gaming verticals can make the sector more enticing for domestic and foreign institutional investors. This would expedite confidence and overall growth of the sector,” Nanda added.
Reddy also expects more initiatives from the government on the digital payment front as such options are still inaccessible to a vast majority of Indians, which is a big impediment to monetisation.