While thousands of employees at big tech companies remain anxious about their futures amid layoffs, India’s online gaming industry, which is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2024, could help ease the burden.
The industry currently employs approximately 50,000 people, and programmers and developers account for 30% of the workforce.
According to a new report by staffing firm TeamLease Digital, the industry is expected to grow by 20-30% and create new direct and indirect jobs by the end of FY23. The report highlighted that these projected new job opportunities are expected to be available across the board, Including programming, testing, animation and design.
They will, right?
According to Soham Thacker, CEO and Founder of Gamerji, the pace of growth of the industry will help create more jobs, but it may not help the tech guys who have been facing layoffs recently. This is because apart from technical jobs, there are other skill-based jobs like animation, graphics, content creation, game development, professional gaming, etc. that make up the total pool of jobs in the industry. Manvendra Shukul, CEO and founder of Lakshya, also echoed similar views and said that game development requires knowledge, as well as proficiency in specific game engines or technologies, which form the core of any regular game development efforts. He believes that to hire these employees into the tech company, a “major retraining/reform” will be required before they can contribute effectively to the game development project.
However, Roland Landers, CEO of All India The AIGF believes the gaming industry may help reduce the heat of layoffs. He told News18: “There is a huge demand right now for highly skilled talent in the industry and I am sure the industry can act as a window of opportunity for many who have had to contend with layoffs recently, especially if they are keen to contribute to the Sunrise sector. The Sun in Digital India”.
According to AIGF’s Landers, in terms of salary, packages may vary from place to place and a lot depends on how profitable the industry is. “For example, ambiguity in the assessment mechanisms of collecting GST from industry can lead to catastrophic results and must be addressed so that we do not end up increasing tax liability by 1,100%,” he said, adding: “This ambiguity in the GST system (GST) could have ripple effects affecting profitability.”
Meanwhile, Gamerji’s CEO said that gaming pays on par or perhaps more in certain jobs for niche talent than traditional IT jobs. “Good content creators or game developers are paid well for their skills,” he added.
He also said that it is the game development or virtual graphics industry that drives the most; Not only Indian companies but also foreign companies outsource their work to skilled Indian game development studios which pay very good salaries. “Besides development, even content creation makes good money for influencers as brands pay anywhere from a few thousand to lakhs for ad integration,” Thacker noted.
CEO Lakshya Shukul told News18 that there is a misconception that the video game industry does not pay enough but it is in fact one of the best payers compared to most sectors.
He said, “If you look at game engineering, with the right skills, it pays a lot more than a normal IT job – in India and abroad. Even in the field of game development art and animation, artists in the video game industry are paid more, and in most cases More, than any other ordinary job for an artist.”
The same goes for the game designer position. Other positions in the game industry pay just as much, if not more, than their counterparts in other industries.
The job is at hand
According to Landers, in the gaming industry, there are a lot of roles available at different levels for those who want to enter the industry.
When asked if the industry prefers to hire experienced individuals over rookies, Landers believes that of all things, the only thing that matters is “talent”, and whether someone is new or experienced is secondary to their ability to demonstrate skill.
Thacker has stated that it is very difficult to find talent with gaming experience due to the age of the industry. “Hence, new talents who have a good interest in learning are preferred,” he added.
Meanwhile, Shukla stated that although hiring people with experience is always best, due to the nascent stage the industry is in, and the lack of relevant talent in the industry, companies are forced to hire people with less experience.
But he believes that with the right core competencies and skills, the training required to improve skills can be provided. “This is why focusing on creating quality, industry-relevant training programs is the need of the hour,” he suggested.
Landers stated that the gaming industry in India has seen the largest adoption in the mobile gaming sector.
According to him, unlike the context abroad, India has seen a huge growth based on smartphones, while a good gaming PC or console is still too expensive for most gamers. “Since mobile games have seen the largest amount of adoption in India, the sector is also experiencing significant growth. We hope to see increased demand for electronic games, PCs and consoles.”
However, Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner at Unicorn India Ventures, told News18 that the industry is thriving with number of players, especially GenZ, and with new startups operating in the field, there are increasing opportunities for young talent to pursue direct or indirect avenues.
He also believes that with the intersection of Web3, Metaverse and gamification, more companies will emerge in this space and create opportunities for young talents.
Citing a report by Niko Partners, Majumdar said India’s PC and mobile gaming market is expected to total 396.4 million players this year, resulting in gamers spending $704.5 million.
India is currently the fastest growing market in terms of revenue and number of players in the Asia region 10. He noted that the future of online gaming will undoubtedly be a boom and will see exponential growth.
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