With other original games like Kingdom Hearts 2.8, Sea of Thieves and others in the kitty, India is fast becoming a hub for game development catering to markets like US, China, Japan and Europe.
The official game based on the Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Patt starrer Passengers was developed in partnership with India-based Hero Digital Entertainment. This may be surprising to some that close to 100 games are being developed in India for the international market every year.
With other original titles such as Kingdom Hearts 2.8, Sea of Thieves and others in the kitty, India is fast becoming a hub for game development catering to markets like US, China, Japan and Europe. With a steady YoY of almost 30 percent, Indian game developing companies are banking on the global gaming market as it is expected to touch $134 billion by 2022 , up from $107 billion in 2017.
Interestingly, according to a latest study by KPMG and Google in India, the gaming industry is currently estimated to stand at approximately $0.6 billion, of which online gaming is approximately $0.37 billion. The study also says that the gaming industry in India is expected to touch $1.3 billion by 2022, adding more than 0.19 billion gamers in the time-frame.
“It is the growth of the gaming industry in India that is making game development popular as a career option,” said Rajan Navani, managing director and CEO at Pune based JetSynthesys.
JetSynthesys has a catalogue of over 300 games across HTML, Java, Android and iOS platforms and features eminent stars like Salman Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and others.The company has offices in Europe, UK and US, with global relations include a partnership with Japanese Gaming company GREE to manage multiple titles with over 50 million downloads globally.
JetSynthesys also has a joint venture partnership with Kentucky-based HitCents called Hero Digital Entertainment. The venture is focused on developing Hollywood gaming titles like Passengers Official game and Wild Poker with Floyd Mayweather.
The company also has strategic partnerships with Google and Apple. One of the most popular games from JetSynthesys is the Sachin Saga game for Android Go which specifically caters to low end smartphones with Android Oreo.
JetSynthesys however is not the only player in the domain. There are host of others like Hashstash, Lakshya Digital, Geek Monitors Studio, Damadu Games. Lakshya Digital for instance is working with some of the biggest names in the space over the last decade. Kingdom Hearts 2.8 from Square Enix, Sea of Thieves from Rare Studios, Just Cause III from Avalanche Studios, Dauntless from Phoenix Labs, Middle Earth: Shadow of War from Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, State of Decay 2 from Undead Labs are popular titles that Lakshya has worked on recently.
But how much does it cost to develop a game? Factors like the platform for which the game is being made and its genre play a major role determining the cost of development. “On one hand, a solo developer using free to use art and audio resources can make a simple mobile game for almost no cost while on the other, a major studio may spend well upwards of $100 million on their next blockbuster console title. This is much like the movie business wherein a person can shoot a movie on their mobile phone with a cast comprising their friends while on the other hand a major production can cost tens of crores,” said Manvendra Shukul, CEO at Lakshya Digital.
According to Shuklul India is also putting up a tough fight with competitors like China. “Emergence of China’s game outsourcing industry owes much to the establishment of offices by western game developers due to the access to cheap labour. But as wages in China increase, developers are moving to India which offers competitive wages for a very high quality of work,” he said.
A game developed in India costs at least 50 percent less compared to a similar product developed in other countries.