Indian Game Industry – ‘Inside Story’

This article covers about the growth of the Indian Gaming Industry and many other aspects that are related to it.

Indian Game Industry – ‘Inside Story’

By Akshay Phadke

It is quite happy to see that many young and aspiring students who have completed their school and college are eager to enter the Gaming Industry from a career point of view.

At this point, my today’s article focuses on the Indian Gaming Industry as which will act as a good guideline for the aspiring students who wish to be a part of this industry particularly in India.

The Indian Gamification And Its Gameology

The gaming industry in India almost 15 years back can be thought just about the hand-held’s, consoles connected to TV sets and a fewer DOS based and PC games. The industry was limited to this until the advent of Windows 95 and 98. Soon companies starting evolving and producing basic 2D and 3D work but they were lacking the factor to produce quality content as being a totally new environment for them.

Considering the situation that existed then, now there are considerable and significant changes in the Indian Gaming Industry. Even though Animation and VFX has gained certain roots in India, the Gaming Industry In India appears to be still in its nascent stage. The Indian Gaming Industry consists of four segments – ‘PC’, ‘Online’, ‘Console’ and ‘Mobile’.

The Industry and Market Trends changed in India since 2007 onwards. Gaming companies were seen establishing in major cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai etc. More number of ‘Indie-Developers’ have plunged forward and taken the risk to do it all by themselves.

Due to introduction of ‘3G Services’, ‘Value Added Services (VAS)’ and ‘Broadband Wireless Access(BWA)’, Mobile Gaming and Social Gaming on Social Networking Sites is currently the ‘Big-In’ thing in the Indian Gaming Industry.

In India ‘MMORPG’s(Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games)’ are also played on a very large scale giving a boost to Online Gaming Market in India.

‘Counter-Strike v1.6’ is the most online game played in India and also globally after ‘idTech’s’ ‘Quake’ and ‘Doom’. Social Games like ‘Farmville’, ‘Mafia Wars’ etc are immensely popular among Indians. Companies like ‘Zynga’, ‘Playdom’ etc are into the business of social gaming.

Talking about PC and Console Gaming, they are awaiting their real day in India. Work done by Indian Gaming Companies for PC and Consoles is mostly the ‘Outsourced Work’ for International Gaming Firms and Studios. Concept Creation for PC and Console has now started to evolve in India.

Example : ‘Dhruva Interactive, Bangalore’ : is one of the oldest gaming companies in India and has worked on big titles of ‘Codemasters’ like ‘Dirt 2’ and ‘F1 2010’.

To challenge ‘Piracy’ many Gaming Companies have adopted different Business and Financial Models.

Example : ‘Work For Hire’ and ‘Distribution Services’ are the two most widely used revenue models in India by Gaming Companies.

More recently the industry is also receiving support from bodies like ‘NASSCOM’, ‘NIGA(National Indian Gaming Association)’ etc by launching of new schemes through their annual and social meet-ups.

Example : ‘NASSCOM Gaming Forum 2011’ announced the support for ‘MCV India’.

Such is the changing face of the Gaming Industry in India and I think this part will help those aspiring understand a little bit about the current scenario.

My Advice To Aspiring Community

Moreover in general, the ‘Organization Structure’ remains somewhat constant consisting of the ‘Developer‘, ‘Publisher‘, ‘Outsourcing Companies‘, etc. These various departments consists of many different ‘Job Roles’ like ‘Programmers‘, ‘Designers‘, ‘Artists‘, ‘Producers‘ etc. Each of these consists of further sub types in them. ‘Ethical Obligations‘ form a major part where the Artists, Designers, Programmers etc and other people involved in the Development Process need to protect their work by Copyrighting it.

The Indian Gaming Industry is not ‘Uniformly Saturated‘ in terms of Job Roles by looking at the current scenario. Entry-Level Points in Indian Gaming will include Testing and also the job role considering the area of specialization of the individual might also serve as an Entry-Level Point. This basically varies from company to company.

Since Animation and VFX/SFX gained roots a little bit earlier, there are a large number of Artists, Designers & Animators in India as compared to Game Programmers. The major reason for this is the ‘Outsourced Artwork and Design work’ undertaken by Gaming and other Animation Firms in India on a large scale. Many freelance Artists and Designers work for gaming companies on different contract basis. Other Job Roles involved in the Game Development Process like the Audio Engineers, Testers etc are available and are easy to fetch for their particular job roles.

I’m saying less number of Game Programmers or very little Game Programming work getting outsourced and it sounds contradictory to the Indian IT and BPO industry, right? Major revenues in India are generated through the outsourced work in the IT and BPO sector accounting for more than 51% of the shares.

But yes, ‘particularly in Gaming Industry the programming work is Not Outsourced Always’. Gaming companies require the programming work to be done in the development stage in the studio itself considering commercial PC and Console titles. However now, programming work is also getting outsourced in India at a considerable rate, though the major influence is on Mobile and Online Gaming.

Anyone with any academic background can actually enter the Gaming Industry, but then they should have that ‘immense attraction and passion towards developing games and that extra creative edge in themselves‘.

If you are interested at math and physics, definitely try your hand at Programming. If you are someone whose mind is always filled with fancy characters and environments, then you are probably one of the types of Artists.

So it can be said that currently in India, the Artists and Designers are scaling up the ladder fast in terms of Work as compared to Game Programmers. Currently, there are very few Game Programmers in India as compared to Artists and Designers. However speaking globally, it is the reverse scenario where Game Programmers along with Artists and Designers are large in numbers and especially the Game Programmers receive ‘Handsome Salaries’.

Even though being a technical job, the salary for a Game Programmer in India in his very primitive stage’(Fresher – 1-2 Yrs)’ would be little bit less than expected by that person’(up to 20k)’. As beginners, Artists and Designers are also placed up to ’15k’. The salary doubles as the experience increases after ‘2-3 Years’.

But I would specifically like to address all the aspiring Game Programmers that don’t be afraid or don’t get surprised by this situation, as in the next 4-5 years the situation is definitely expected to change as many companies are setting up their offices in major cities. I would rather call it a beginning experience phase in everyone’s life.

For the entire aspiring Community who wish to be a part of this industry, they can enter this industry by doing a ‘Game Development Course‘ or can apply for ‘Specific Job Roles‘ or can even think about setting up their own ‘Game Company’.

For those who wish to do a ‘proper Game Development Course‘ or a ‘Game Development Course based on their area of specialization‘, they can do it by visiting the available Gaming Schools/Institutions in India. Currently there are only a few Gaming Schools/Institutions in India who provide dedicated knowledge towards Gaming.

For those who are searching for specific job roles in India based on their specialization, it is not necessary always to have a proper Game Development Course Certification.  You can get the respective job based on your ‘Basic Degree Qualifications‘ and other ‘Specialization Certifications‘. However if you are holding a proper Game Development Course Certificate, then definitely ‘that’s an advantage for you!!‘. Console and Mobile Game developing companies are currently in the search of respective job roles. I would rather suggest try approaching more ‘Indie-Developers’ at first.

This article presents somewhat, a current picture or the current scenario of the Indian Gaming Industry. This article will give the readers in India as well as readers outside India a view about the existing Gaming Industry In India and will definitely serve as a guideline for the entire aspiring Community who wish to be a part of this industry.

I wish Good-Luck for all the aspirants and thank all the readers for their continued support!!.

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