Delegates to the NASSCOM Animation Summit in Hyderabad, checkout the Indian games launched for PlayStation (IndiaTechOnline Photo)
Wag the dog: Gaming, the 'tail' of Indian animation biz, dominates NASSCOM summit

New made-for-India-india for PlayStation launched
Anand Parthasarathy reports from Hyderabad
It may still be smaller in size than the main line animation business in India, but gaming is growing at more than twice the pace at 49 percent. And with a final push from the burgeoning 3G mobile phone ecosystem, it may end up as a case of tail wagging the dog -- going by Day1 deliberations at the NASSCOM Animation and Gaming Summit in Hyderabad, friday.

The gaming industry, was predicted to touch $830 million within 2 years, just behind animation which is expected to touch a billion dollars.

These numbers are still way behind the global opportunity -- $100 billion  in animation and $53.6 million  in gaming -- but industry leaders were upbeat about the huge untapped opportunity that exists in India's installed population of over 700 million mobile phones.

"Beyond quality and price, the key diffrentiator will be a seamless usage model", said Biren Ghose,Country Head, Technicolor and Chairman of NASSCOM Animation and Gaming Forum. He pointed out that global customers were looking to Indian companies as co creators of animation products from concept to execution.

By happy coincidence his opening remarks were followed by a keynote by Adam Valdez, Visual Effects Supervisor with the Motion Picture Company (MPC), during which he revealed that over 700 special effects shots for the upcoming 3rd "Narnia" film ( a 3-D product), were being crafted by the company's 150 strong team in Bangalore, in seamless collaboration with creative groups in London and Vancouver. The same India team was also contributing 68 percent of the animation work for the Nickleodeon channel, he added.

"Buffet of broadband games" Indians seem to prefer a "buffet" of games -- or a thali (plate) meal -- rather than 'a la carte' titles, suggested Vishal Gondal, head of IndiaGames during a panel discussion on the Indian gaming industry. The company realised that "Indians don't know how to play games" -- which is why they operate a 5-man call centre and employ 400 evangelists to teach gaming to new audiences, he added... a tactic that has seen spectacular growth in its Rs 200-a-month games subscription business. Nitesh Mitterson,CEO of Nazara agreed: Their biggest selling service was the Games Club where Rs 99 a month bought over 400 games. Prakash Ahuja, CEO of GameShastra, stressed the need to release games across multiple platforms -- iPhone, Android, Windows CE PlayStation, XBox...

Mike Yuen, Senior Vice President for Content and Services, Zeebo Inc, a Qualcomm-financed wireless home entertainment player, said the compoany planned to launch wireless gaming, entertainment and education platform next year at around Rs 4000 -- a potential disrupter in the tablet PC category.

"Street Cricket" game launched
Sony pegged its launch of its third India-specific game for the PS2 and PSP platform -- Street Cricket Champions. Created with Muimbai-based Trine Games, this is 'gully' style cricket, complete with unorthodox strokes and typiocally Indian locales like a school ground or a street corner.

Sony also announced an Indian online PlayStation store --  where full games can be downloaded for Rs 225.
Nov 12 2010