Krafton India, makers of the popular online game BGMI, on Thursday pitched for government support measures to promote the online gaming industry in the country.
Krafton India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn highlighted subsidies given to gaming companies for labour costs by countries like the UAE and Canada and stated that innovative ways can be found to promote the industry in the country.
“Data shows actually how governments around the world regard gaming business as one of the future growth drivers for job creation… we all know that India needs more tax revenue to develop the country, but at the same time, I hope that the Indian government can find creative ways to promote the industry,” he said while addressing a CII event on digital gaming here.
The GST Council has imposed a 28 percent tax on the full face value of bets placed on online games, which will be implemented from October 1, with review of the levy after six months of its implementation.
India’s inexpensive internet and mobile penetration will grow gaming in India and create opportunities for gaming companies, Sean said as he highlighted the “unique advantage” Indian gamers have of being mobile-native unlike their western counterparts who moved to smartphone gaming from consoles, personal computers, and arcade gaming.
“Indian gamers are now at 500 million with true gamers in the range of 100 million which is not as big as China or South Korea, but given the very inexpensive cost of mobile internet and wide penetration of smartphones, I think the number of gamers will increase very fast and… open up more opportunities for gaming companies like us,” he said.
He said that the Indian market is “pretty sizeable” for top games like BGMI and “heavily skewed” to top players compared to other gaming markets. However, diversification and the evolution of the gaming industry will result in more players coming up, he opined.
The Krafton India CEO also spoke about the company’s investment in Gurugram-based Nodwin Gaming, saying that “90 percent of Nodwin’s revenue is coming from mobile eSports gaming events”.
He said the gaming industry has grown from being a small industry in the entertainment market to “about 80 percent of the movie and video game industry combined.
SONY India National Head PlayStation Division Prosenjit Ghosh said gaming is becoming a mainstream kind of entertainment, “almost at par with other mainstream entertainment in India like cricket or movies.”