The gaming ecosystem in India is growing rapidly – in terms of gamers, the capability to build games, the funding. The country has particularly good skills in the software side of gaming. There’s also a growing base of talent that knows how to work with game engines like Unity and Unreal. In five to ten years, with more design experience, with more funding, India could be in a position to build world-class big games. Especially mobile games.
That was the message from the webinar we held last week on the gaming business, and the skills the industry needs.
Rajan Navani, MD of gaming company JetSynthesys, and the first national president of the recently constituted Indian Digital Gaming Society, noted that India accounted for as much as 17% of the games downloaded on Google Play. He said there are also an estimated 2,000 startups in the gaming space, though the vast majority are currently very small. “But the frugal way in which India does things, anything we make here we should be able to take to the world,” he said.
Pradeep Gupta, head of marketing & growth at game developer Gameberry Labs, said India has great strengths in core game development, software development, QA (quality assurance), analytics. What it lacks, he said, are good designers who can conceptualise and design games. So far, India has mostly taken concepts from successful games globally and finetuned them for different audiences.
Kishore Kichili, India head of Zynga, the maker of the enormously popular game Farmville, said a lot of creativity goes into designing games. “Much of it comes from playing lots of games. Add to that an education from something like a National Institute of Design. Playing lots of games will help you understand game mechanics, what are the different levels, what to present to different players at what time,” he said.
Kichili said Zynga has started conceptualising and designing casual games out of India. Like other major game developers in India, Zynga has designers, artists, programmers, producers, product managers, UI/UX and QA experts, and content delivery teams.
Navani said India has leapfrogged the console era, and moved directly to smartphones. He said immersive game experiences can today be built on smartphones, and that’s where India’s biggest opportunities are.