In recent years, the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics (AVGC) sector have experienced unparalleled levels of growth. Many worldwide corporations have entered the market, utilising India’s talent pool for offshore service delivery.

  • In 2018, the overall animation, visual effects, and post-production industry rose by 18% to INR78.9 billion
  • India’s animation, visual effects, and post-production industry is expected to reach INR127.6 billion by 2021
  • The animation industry is predicted to grow to INR 24.4 billion by 2021
  • The VFX industry is predicted to grow to INR 75.5 billion by 2021
  • In 2018, India’s online gamers increased by 52% to 278 million
  • By 2021, the gaming sector is predicted to increase at a 35 % compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach INR 120 billion

Officials and experts praised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s launch of an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) taskforce for preparing India to play a greater part in constructing the Metaverse; helping to cater to the Indian market and satisfying global demand. Consequently, for the industry to thrive, it needs more regulatory certainty. 5G mobile networks will be ready by 2022-23, according to Sitharaman, and a 5G spectrum auction will be launched this year to aid in the roll-out. She also predicted that by 2025, all villages in India will be connected by fibre optics, allowing for inexpensive broadband access.

Why AVGC Sector is In News?

The government announced the formation of an “Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics” (AVGC) task group in the Budget 2022-23 to “build domestic capacity to service Indian markets and worldwide demand.” Significant portions of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021, prohibiting online gambling and skill-based gaming platforms, have previously been found unlawful by the Karnataka High Court. In 2021, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting agreed to establish a Centre of Excellence in gaming and related fields in conjunction with IIT Bombay.

The government’s action, according to Rahul Tewari, Chief Financial Officer of Play Games24X7, the firm behind RummyCircle, My11Circle, and Pet Haven, is a welcome one that will increase investor trust in the market. “We believe the budget was forward-thinking and supportive of cutting-edge technologies,” Tewari added. “Because we are a cutting-edge technological play, the statement about investing in 5G network infrastructure is also very favourable for the gaming industry. And we believe that having a bigger bandwidth and better speed on mobile devices will revolutionize the mobile gaming experience.”

According to research released by KPMG in June 2021, the number of gamers in India increased to over 400 million by the middle of 2020, up from around 250 million at the end of the fiscal year 2018-19. After China, it now has the world’s second-largest online gaming population. Online casual gaming, which accounts for a significant portion of overall gaming income, is expected to expand at a CAGR of around 29% over the next four years, reaching Rs 169 billion in FY25.

India Would Become The World’s Content Creation Factory

The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sector, according to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra, may give an outlet for talented workers and become the backbone of the media and entertainment business. Mr. Chandra stated in his opening remarks at the breakout session on “Strengthening Industry-Skill Linkage in AVGC” that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of the AVGC Task Force in her Budget speech was a historic event that recognised the sector’s importance and role in job creation. The I&B Secretary observed that the industry has had great progress over the last seven years and might soon become a world leader if given the necessary drive. The task force was created to focus on the content development aspect of gaming, which needed advanced expertise.

Every Conceivable Aid

Mr. Tiwari told the audience that the AVGC sector had been under-recognized for a long time but was now not only being recognised but also developing at a rapid speed and that the industry now needed intellectual capital and education. He promised all stakeholders that he would provide all assistance needed to help the industry become more skilled. Ashish Kulkarni, CEO of Punaryug Private Limited; Munjal Shroff, co-founder of Graphiti Multi-Media Private Limited; and Ketan Yadav, COO-VFX Producer, Red Chillies Entertainments Private Limited, were among the other panelists.

India’s Rural Region Has A  Significant Role

Mr. Kulkarni stated that by 2030, the sector would require direct employment for at least 20-25 lakh people and that youngsters should be exposed to industry skills at a young age in schools. Rural India was a rich source of talent for this industry. He advised that the AVGC Centre of Excellence set the appropriate criteria while keeping in mind global standards in both manufacturing and education. Mr. Shroff claimed that skilling platforms were essential for youngsters to seek out and explore their aptitude, stating that India’s credentials in the AVGC industry were well-proven today. Talent upskilling should also occur through continual education, which necessitated the creation of a knowledge bank. He also proposed that prominent experts volunteer their time to mentor the youngsters. Mr. Yadav pointed out that the sector’s core training might be applied to a variety of other fields. He went on to say that the industry needed practical, dynamic, and demand-based training to develop industry-ready workers.

Importance Of The AVGC Taskforce

The task force has the potential to make India the world’s content generation factory in the AVGC industry. It has the potential to attract skilled labour and serve as the backbone of the media and entertainment industries. It will prepare India to play a bigger part in the Metaverse’s development. It will create jobs for young people, increase domestic capacity to service Indian markets and fulfil global demand. The promotion of AVGC will have a multiplier effect on the economy by creating employment and increasing GDP overall. It will give the fantasy sports and Esports industries much-needed clarity and confidence.

Importance Of the AVGC  Industry

1. Become More Involved In Meeting Global Demand

It will help India prepare to play a greater part in the Metaverse’s development, as well as cater to the Indian market and fulfil worldwide demand. A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds centred on social connection. It is characterized as a simulated digital environment that employs Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and blockchain, as well as social media principles, to build places for rich user interaction that imitate the real world. It might also provide new opportunities for gamers and platforms, as well as formalize game art education, as most people in the business learn via experience.

2. Revenue

By the middle of 2020, India’s gaming population would have risen to almost 400 million, up from around 250 million at the end of the fiscal year 2018-19. After China, it now has the world’s second-largest online gaming population. Online casual gaming, which accounts for a substantial portion of overall gaming income, is expected to expand at a CAGR of around 29% over the next four years, reaching sales of Rs 169 billion by FY25.

3. Generation Of Employment

The AVGC industry has a huge potential for career possibilities. For the whole space, the number of job possibilities will range from 70,000 to 1.2 lakh.

Challenges Of the AVGC  Industry

Since there are no official gaming schools, the AVGC industry is fast increasing, yet there is a need for competent programmers, graphic designers, and esports administrators. As several state governments have hauled these firms to court for purportedly being similar to gambling, regulatory clarity continues to be a bugbear for the industry. These businesses have strenuously refuted this, claiming that their games are “games of skill” rather than “games of chance.”

Moving Forward

To guarantee regulatory clarity in this arena, equitable cooperation from the federal and state governments is required. The task group should look at things like how to build capacities and how to integrate this into educational institutions to develop more future capabilities. It’s critical to develop methods to formalize some of this schooling so that India can produce animators, designers, and individuals who can conceptualize, code, and construct those games and settings.