IndiaJoy Festival 2021: An esports policy in the offing?

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Gaming sector seems to be on proverbial steroids over the past year. Tons are tournaments are conducted in India where dedicated teams compete for a heft prize money each year.

Largely attributable to the pandemic-led restrictions, Esports grew exponentially, both in terms of increased engagement and its growing acceptance over the past year. As per statistics, Indian Esports accounted for around 4% of all online gaming users and 9.13% of aggregate revenue in FY20.

In 2020, Esports viewership increased to 17 million and is projected to reach 85 million by 2025. India’s esports industry is set to quadruple in size to Rs 1,100 crore by 2025 from Rs 250 crore at present—clocking a compounded annual growth rate of 46%, according to an EY report.

Recently at IndiaJoy digital entertainment festival, Technicolor India Country Head and Chairman-CII National AVGC Sub Committee Biren Ghose revealed that Jayesh Ranjan who is the Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments of the Telangana government is planning an esports policy.

The conference which saw a confluence of businesses, business leaders, content creators, professionals across gaming, animation, digital media, and entertainment sectors witnessed enlightening talks about the Esports policy. Ghose suggested that AVGC policy that they drafted wasn’t particularly imagined to benefit a particular segment and yet it has tremendously propelled the gaming industry.

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“When we decided the policy we had not decided how much we want to do for games. Since that policy, and because AVGC policy is an overarching document, Telangana has moved forward and done the tie-up with STPI and created centers of excellence for games so that is moving in one direction. You saw the fantastic announcement on webinars with Mr. Ranjan where he said he wants an esports policy. And it is at a very early stage. The policy is a living document that changes and evolves as technology changes and markets change and the biggest word in the world right now is; Transformation,” he concluded.

With a policy meant to particularly support esports, the segment is all set to get fresh tailwinds to soar higher and higher.