Digital gaming sector needs enabling legal and policy framework in India: IAMAI Report

By: |
February 23, 2021 4:05 PM

As per the report, India’s gaming sector faces uncertain laws that are not conducive to innovation

Every industry needs a robust legal and policy framework to grow and digital gaming is no different.The gross revenue for the fantasy sports market in India was around $340.47 million in FY20.

The Indian gaming market stands at $930 million at present and the industry is predicted to soon grow bigger than the music, movie and television industries put together, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Ikigai Law, titled ‘Unpacking a Billion Dollar Industry: Digital Sports & Games in India’. The report states that the industry can be a key pillar of India’s digital ecosystem and strongly suggests legal and policy changes that could help unlock the industry’s true potential.

India’s gaming industry has attracted approximately $900 million between 2014 and 2020. The report claims that there has been a rapid investment in the Indian gaming industry with marquee investors such as Sequoia and Softbank coming up as the key investors in Indian market along with the government. For instance, the Karnataka government has set up an Rs 20 crore fund for animation, visual effects, and gaming. This has led to a steep rise of Indian game developers. India has 275 game development companies with over 15,000 game developers. Around 5,468 Indian game publishers are present on the Google Play Store offering 19,518 games across categories. India is also a global talent hub for the gaming industry. International studios like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Nvidia, and Zynga already have centres in India. With ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’, promoting Indian game developers will create huge returns and help India position itself as a market leader in gaming, the report states.

“Digital games and sports industry has opened numerous job opportunities in India with close to 23,000 gaming-based job openings in India, with annual salary packages ranging from Rs 3 lakhs to over Rs 40 lakhs. Jobs for game design, technology, marketing, sales, data analysis, among others, have emerged. The industry has also created ancillary jobs for live streamers, coaches, mentors, sport therapists, and marketing agents,” the report highlights.

Every industry needs a robust legal and policy framework to grow and digital gaming is no different. The report states that India’s gaming sector faces uncertain laws that are not conducive to innovation. While changes in state gambling laws create uncertainty, the inability of the law to address issues around taxation, intellectual property, and content pushes companies to rehash business models. At the same time, unlike its global counterparts, India is yet to focus on the skilfulness of its labour that can fit into the gaming industry. “We are lagging behind in leveraging the potential of gamification to boost key economic sectors. Therefore, there is a need for an enabling legal and policy framework in India for the sector to flourish,” the report states.

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