In a major boost to gaming industry, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced auctions of 5G spectrum in 2022. This will enable the launch of services within 2022-23. This will enhance gaming experiences due to factors such as higher data speeds, lower latency, and technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Furthermore, Sitharaman has also called for the task force to promote AVGC (animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics). This move will speed up processes and will facilitate employment for the youth in these sectors.
While announcing the budget, Sitharaman heavily pitched on facilitating partnership with states in SEZs to ensure greater alignment with key industries – Gaming focused SEZs to encourage infrastructure and talent pool development. This would replace the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act with new legislation. This would enable states to strengthen their relationship with the supply base of animation and production studios.
The entry of NFTs and Cryptocurrency in the gaming industry has been indirectly recognized by the Indian government. Sitharaman during the budget brought crypto and NFTs under the tax net by proposing to tax virtual assets at 30%. Several industry experts have termed this move as a positive step for the country to grow as a centre point for global gaming ecosystem.
The in-game app purchase market will get a positive push after the incorporation of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) via blockchain technology which will enhance micro-transactions. This move will benefit the gaming industry when Metaverse and Web3.0 strikes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent ‘Atmanirbhar Arthvyawastha’ address to BJP workers spoke in detail about the AVGC industry and said, “Today, the Animation, Visual effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) sector is witnessing rapid growth in India. India is among the top five markets in the world when it comes to mobile gaming. As per the estimate, this sector is expected to reach three lakh crore in the next two years. Now the point is, we cannot stop our child from playing games in the family. But, will they just be playing games developed outside India or India will do something on its own. Hence, in order to give a chance to our country’s talent to innovate – there is tremendous potential for ‘Create in India and Brand in India.’ The budget has also talked about creating a task force for making India the global games developer and gaming services hub in the world.”
Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan, The Gamer’s Social Network, said, “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.”
He further said, “The statement clearly indicates that 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.”
Vishwalok Nath, Director, World Esports Cup welcomed the move made by the government and said, “We welcome the steps that the Finance Minister of India announced as part of Budget 2022-2023 including the creation of the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (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 for 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”, said Nath.