Business Standard

India's gaming sector unique, naturally inclined to Make in India: EGF CEO

Union Budget must treat 'legitimate part of gaming industry' as govt treats other sectors in the technology industry, say representatives

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Raghav Aggarwal New Delhi

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The domestic gaming industry is unique and “naturally inclined” to the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat, or self-reliant India campaign, said Anuraag Saxena, chief executive officer of E-Gaming Federation (EGF), on Tuesday.

Gaming is “fundamentally different” and unlike other technology industries like ride-hailing or social media, he told Business Standard on the sidelines of the launch of a whitepaper called ‘Guardians of Safe Play: Ethical Gaming for Vibrant Bharat’.

"The consumers here play less console- or computer-based games and more on mobile phones," he said.

Mobile accounts for 90 per cent of the total online gaming market in India, according to the whitepaper.

Anuraag Saxena said gaming is the "first industry" after global capability centres (GCC) and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that is "naturally inclined" with the Make in India manufacturing campaign.

"Our media to play games are different, the duration is different, the variants are different, the formats are different," he said. "So, it's truly a Make in India opportunity."

Shalabh Saxena, partner and media industry leader at Grant Thornton Bharat, said India is important for global gaming players and investors. The international gaming industry would need talent, efficient delivery of products, and innovation.

"Look at the similarities of these drivers and superimpose them on GCCs and BPO," said Shalabh Saxena. "Tomorrow if the global industry becomes huge, where is that talent going to come from?"

The Indian gaming industry has raised $2.8 billion from domestic and foreign investors in the last five years, according to the whitepaper.

Potential investment in the Indian gaming sector is "waiting on the sidelines" and would come in when there is regulatory clarity. "Apart from the regulatory clarity, all the other factors are strong positives," said Anuraag Saxena.

The Budget on July 23 must treat the “legitimate part of the gaming industry” as the government treats other sectors in the technology industry, he said.

India's gaming industry is expected to grow 20 per cent year-on-year to Rs 25,300 crore by the end of FY25, according to the whitepaper. India has 442 million online gamers, second only to China.

It called for an industry code of conduct that will set standards for ethical behaviour to ensure accountability and transparency.

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First Published: Jul 09 2024 | 5:46 PM IST

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