Animation and Gaming, Breaking the Shackles
Date: Tuesday , December 01, 2009
Over the past few years the struggling animation and gaming industry has managed to strengthen its presence in India. The gaming industry, which has been one of the worst affected sectors worldwide due to recession, has managed to rise up again.
Bustling with developers and animators from all over India and some guest speakers from the west, NASSCOM’s Animation and Gaming Summit 2009 in Hyderabad managed to inspire the developers to take India to the next level in this industry. In the very first session Biren Ghose, Chairman of NASSCOM Animation and Gaming Forum (NAGFO) said, “The reason we got together is because we did not understand the length and breadth of this industry. Creativity is the key for this industry and we should constantly look at where we are and where we want to be.” He opined that if people are more creative it would bring more business for the country.
Ashim Dass Mathur, Director of Marketing, Entertainment, and Devices Section, Microsoft India says, “The biggest concern in India is prices. Taxes cause the prices to go up for consumers and I think prices are holding this industry back.” There is a huge difference in the prices of the consoles and games CDs in India and the U.S. The only sector that is not affected by this pricing difference is the mobile gaming sector. The launch of the App Store provided developers with the opportunity to make their creations available on a global scale. With 3G auction around the corner in India, mobile gaming might even cross the predicted growth rate. “With the 3G devices, there will be massive increase in data. Operators will think about what they can give in 3G,” says Samir Bangara, Chief Operating Officer of Indiagames.
India has a rich history and culture that can be used by the game developers. But they are still struggling with the issue of how to take short casual games to the next level of western style blockbusters. “The promise of India is the promise of its talent. India has had universities for thousands of years. It also helps that India is an English-speaking nation and that gives it an edge over the East European countries. Don’t overlook your own culture, you invented Pachisi (an ancient board game), you invented Snakes and Ladders, you invented Chess,” says Ernest Adams, who is the Chairman of International Game Developer’s Association. He is also a freelance game designer, writer, and teacher.
Rajesh Rao, CEO of Dhruva, expressed his concern on the amount of competition in the gaming industry. He says, “The gaming community is growing without sharing with each other. The faster we share with each other, the faster the community will grow.” Rao is certain of the bright future of gaming in India and says, “India will one day become one of the biggest gaming markets in the world. It is not a question whether it will, but the question is when it will become.”
While the Indian animation industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22 percent to reach $1 billion by 2012, the Indian gaming industry is forecast to grow at CAGR of 49 percent to reach $830 million by 2012. The prospects look great for India and don’t be surprised if these two sectors manage to perform better than expected.