Esports sector’s reaction to the 2022-23 Union Budget

February 1, 2022

The Finance Minister of India, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the fourth budget of the Modi 2.0 government today. 


The budget estimated India’s growth at 9.2%—the highest among large economies—with the fiscal deficit in 2022-23 estimated at 6.4% of GDP. The FM also imposed a 30% tax on income from cryptocurrency and virtual assets, while there was no change in tax slabs for the common man. 


However, gaming and its related branches received a welcome boost when Mrs. Sitharaman pronounced that Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) offered immense potential to employ youth and recommended that a task force be put in place to realise this potential.


An AVGC promotion task force, with all stakeholders, will be set up to recommend ways to realise this and build domestic capacity for serving out markets and the global demand,” Mrs. Sitharaman said.


In addition to that, the Finance Minister also announced that Spectrum auctions would be held soon for the rollout of 5G services in FY 2022-23. 


So, with these two key proposals in the 2022-23 Union Budget, how did some of the prominent faces in the gaming industry react? 


Mr. Vishwalok Nath, Director, World Esports Cup, welcomed the steps with open arms as he feels that the proposed steps can help create a robust infrastructure for gaming development, while the introduction of 5G opens up new doors and opportunities for the market as a whole. 


We welcome the steps that the finance minister of India as part of Budget 2022-2023 including the creation of the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC) task force. We hope that this task force can help promote the creation of a robust infrastructure for game development with gradual benefits to the esports community. We are also looking forward to the 5G spectrum auction this year. 5G can further promote the latest innovations and mass adoption of technologies like cloud gaming in the country,” said Mr. Nath. 


There is a huge scope of employment for the youth in the gaming industry, Esports/Video Games is a versatile industry and there is a huge scope for professional gamers as well as other jobs like casters, commentators, and other support staff appointed by the esports tournaments like producers, editors, analysts, product managers, game testers, referees, production crew members, event managers, social media managers, etc.


Mr. Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India and Vice-president of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), echoed similar sentiments to that of Mr Nath. He believes this effort by the Indian government has been long overdue and it is time they become serious regarding this long-neglected sector. 


It is encouraging to finally see the seriousness from our Government towards this sector which has been long neglected. This will definitely help in setting up the policies which would encourage and build our capacities and capabilities to export to the rest of the world; leading to more domestic video game development studios and more investments in the AVGC sector. Spectrum auctions for 5G is a welcome move for the gaming industry as well, 5G can disrupt the industry by enhancing the live streaming of games and cloud gaming as well.


The task force should consist largely of people who have been part of the “Video Game” industry and are playing an active role in shaping up the Indian video game industry,” said Mr. Lokesh Suji. 


On a similar vein, Mr. Sagar Nair, CEO & Co-Founder of Qlan, The Gamer’s Social Network, considers the Indian government’s proactiveness quickly after the sports’ entry in the Asian Games as an official event that highlights the true potential of the Indian gaming and esports segment not only in India but also on the global stage. 


It is this continued acceptance that will lead to the progress of the Indian gaming and esports industry. First was esports’ entry in the Asian Games as an official event followed by a government dedicated task force to work with the AVGC sector. I have no doubt that these initiatives as part of the national budget policy highlight the true potential of the Indian gaming & esports segment not only in India but also on the global circuit.


Mr. Nair believes the budget gives a fair indication of the government’s backing of homegrown game developers and organisations, enabling them to serve out markets and global demands soon. 


The statement clearly indicates the backing of homegrown game developers, tournament organizers, and esports companies and recommendations from the appointed task force will help build domestic capacity for serving out markets and the global demand as well.” Mr. Nair concluded. 

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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