India's Esports Industry Gets A Boost After Government Recognition
The electronic sports or esports industry has welcomed the central government's recent decision to officially recognise competitive video gaming and is now hopeful of more investments in the nascent sector.
The government on December 27 integrated esports with mainline sports disciplines in India and recognised it as part of a 'multisport' event. Esports will now come under the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
Esports refers to competitive and organised video game events. The industry had been campaigning that esports is a competitive sport where athletes use their mental and physical abilities.
Yugal Kishore Sharma, Director of the Esports Federation of India, said that the official recognition will attract domestic and International investment for Indian esports titles, esports infrastructure and teams.
"The recognition will pave the way for brand endorsements/sponsorship. Brands can now build long-term development and partnership strategies in India," he said, adding that endemic brands selling Personal Computers, mobiles and graphic cards will make a beeline for the country.
Pointing to the rising popularity of esports, Rajan Navani, Founder and CEO of JetSynthesys, said that the industry has a huge potential to unlock economic growth and impact the demographic dividend positively. "India saw esports players double from 300,000 in 2020 to 600,000 in 2021, with revenue growing by 29 per cent from Rs 7.5 billion in 2020 to Rs 9.7 billion in 2021," he said.
India is one of the fastest-growing esports markets in the world. According to an EY report, esports will generate a total economic impact of over Rs 100 billion through investments, direct industry revenues, in-app purchases and other revenues and create more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2025.
The government's decision comes just a month before the Union Budget, which the esports industry is viewing with a lot of hope.
"The government should set up a national governing body for esports. Today, the efforts are spread across multiple stakeholders and the setting up of a national governing body will help regulate all of them," said Anurag Khurana, CEO and founder, Penta Esports.
Mr Sharma, on the other hand, expects the government to announce an "Esports Development Fund" on the lines of countries like Malaysia and South Korea.