Indian indie games industry heading to the next level

Indie game industry has grown significantly in 2017 in terms of title releases despite challenges like plagiarism and loss of revenue

Juego Studios is one of the most prominent indie games studio in Bangalore with offices in Dubai and Los Angeles

Bangalore, November 20, 2017: The Indian independent gaming industry has grown in terms of new game releases this year despite an increase in plagiarism and drop in overall revenue.

The NASSCOM’s Gamedev release calendar recorded a total of around 150 game releases from January to November 2017. Another 10 games are slated for release next month which will take this year’s growth rate to around 18 per cent when compared to last year’s releases. Nasscom Gamedev data also shows that there are currently around 240 indie game studios in India.

Despite the positive growth, indie studios have not made much progress in terms of profit or new Intellectual Property (IP).

Nilesh Gawade, CEO and Co-Founder of Pune-based Aaryavarta Technologies, said that making games in India is not profitable and the industry is not going to grow significantly in the next few years. The quantity has increased but the quality has not due to lack of funds.

The growth has been more towards mobile platforms such as Android, IOS instead of PC and console gaming in India Rudresha M, the COO of Bangalore-based Juego Studios pointed out. Unlike, the PC and console gaming, a majority of applications and games in the app-based markets start out for free.

He said that as a result, the indie developers cannot make money after they launch their game. Most need to implement in-game items for purchase or place in-game ads to get some revenue. He also criticized the Google Ads systems, AdSense and AdMob, for their low returns as ad impressions from India fetch the lowest payout rates.

Screenshot from a work-in-progress indie game named "Project P"

Plagiarism is a sensitive topic in the industry, mentioned Nilesh. Everyone gets inspired in the Indian gaming industry. However, what they consider plagiarism is blatant copying of game code or artwork. He added that his own company has not patented any technology or IPs and it is both expensive and does not give protection against plagiarism.

Incidentally, NASSCOM’s NGF Awards 2016 had an android game called Train Simulator 2016 in its finalist list, which was developed by Hyderabad-based developer Timuz Solutions Pvt Ltd. The original IP Train Simulator is currently owned by a British indie studio Dovetail Games.

Vinay J, an indie game developer with Juego Studios produces his own games. He said that he would like to move on to bigger studios like Ubisoft Pune where he would get the budget to produce large scale original IPs. But right now, he is concentrating on “tricks of the trade.” Currently, he mainly works on outsourced games for companies like Disney and Sony, which he believes do not have much scope for growth.



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