A report by the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata found that over 84 per cent of technology practitioners believe India could lead the global gaming industry.
The E-Gaming Federation (EGF) and the ISI-Kolkata have jointly released a study titled "Unveiling the Potential and Scope of the Online Skill Gaming Industry: A Study with Technology Students and Professionals."
The study was conducted through a survey involving 4,644 participants across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
The study found that a substantial 73 per cent of respondents exhibited a strong inclination towards pursuing careers in the online gaming domain. Equally significant, 68 per cent acknowledged the sector's role in improving their skill sets, while 60 per cent believed it could stem the 'brain drain' to foreign tech roles by providing opportunities on home turf.
Subhamoy Maitra, a professor at the ISI, Kolkata, stated, "This analysis unearths a strong belief among the respondents that India's homegrown gaming industry can reduce the brain drainage of talents in the technology domain, offering them opportunities towards innovation and growth right here on home soil. Within the larger gaming domain, from an intellectual point of view, skill gaming enjoys a particularly strong interest among technology professionals."
Skilling in the gaming industry
The study also highlighted the online skill gaming sector's resonance with highly skilled engineers, with 55 per cent of respondents indicating their preference due to its focus on technology adaptation and innovation
67 per cent of participants expressed interest in pursuing professional education in the gaming sector. Within this, 31 per cent favoured hard-core programming, 42 per cent showed an interest towards algorithm-related theories, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and hardware. In comparison, 22 per cent were inclined towards art software and animation tools.
In the online skill gaming sector, programming (44 per cent), testing and automation (40 per cent), and art (16 per cent) emerged as predominant areas of interest. A majority of 75 per cent preferred careers in technology domains linked to 5G, metaverse, VR, and novel technologies, indicating an interest in innovation in the sector.
Skill-gap and courses
While recognising the role of data science and AI in the online gaming domain, 63 per cent believed that current courses needed further alignment with sector-specific needs. Participants also acknowledged the potential of "gamification" to expand the gaming industry's scope, with 56 per cent agreeing it offers substantial avenues for innovation.
Over 62 per cent of individuals perceived that opportunities within the online skill gaming sector can positively impact the skill sets of both students and employees.
Addressing "brain drain"
The report noted that in the academic year 2021-22, more than 200,000 Indian students flocked to the United States for higher education, while the Indian IT sector grappled with a persistent 25.2 per cent attrition rate in 2021. With the projected departure of 2 to 2.2 million IT-BPM professionals by 2025, the ongoing talent drain challenges the domestic IT sector. Amid this scenario, the online gaming sector can emerge as a promising career prospect, offering opportunities that foster skill growth and innovation within India's technological ecosystem.
Malay Kumar Shukla, secretary of the E-Gaming Federation, noted, "The online skill gaming industry is the new rapidly rising industry in the era of digitalisation. The recognition that India has the potential to become a centre for global gaming innovation would ensure the industry's ability to grow, create employment opportunities, and meaningfully contribute towards the $1 trillion digital economy vision of our Hon'ble Prime Minister."
The study shows the role that the sector could play in India's economic and technological expansion. This vision can be realised through collaborative effort between policymakers, industry stakeholders, and academia.