Pixel P&L: Indian Gaming Industry Demands Clear Definitions in Government Policy

Vignesh Raghuram
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Pixel P&amp;L


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It’s Wednesday, July 10. In today’s feature story, we delve into the ten recommendations Indian video game companies have presented to the government for the National AVGC-XR Policy. Additionally, we cover Saudi Arabia’s ambitious initiative for its Qiddiya esports city. We also highlight Felicity Games securing $700,000 in funding from top tech entrepreneurs, including Swiggy's Sriharsha Majety, Cred's Kunal Shah, and Nazara Games' Manish Agarwal, among other updates.

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Indian Gaming Giants Urge Government to Draw Clear Line Between Video Games and Real Money Games

In a significant move, over 70 companies from India's video games and esports industry have formally urged the government to clearly distinguish between video games and real money games. This collective appeal includes ten recommendations for the National AVGC-XR Policy, highlighting the industry's pressing need for regulatory clarity and support. Representatives from notable entities such as Nodding Heads Games, Dot9 Games, NewGen Gaming, the Esports Federation of India (ESFI), and SuperGaming have signed a letter addressed to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, calling for equitable policymaking to foster growth within the sector.

Harish Chengaiah, founder and CEO of Outlier Games, emphasized the industry’s vast potential, noting, "The Indian video games industry, which is purely entertainment-oriented and devoid of monetary staking, is projected to be worth $942 million in 2024, with the potential to reach $1.6 billion by 2029. This would surpass the cumulative revenues of all Indian film industries."

Anurag Khurana, CEO and Founder of Newgen Gaming, underscored the necessity of this distinction. "Users and media often mistake video games for real money games. We believe the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should oversee the video games industry, as video games are entertainment," Khurana stated.

Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming, echoed these sentiments. "Establishing clear distinctions between video games and real-money gaming is crucial for the sector's development and player safety," John noted.

This concerted effort by industry leaders aims to unlock the full potential of India's burgeoning video games sector, advocating for the regulatory framework needed to propel it to the forefront of global entertainment industries.

Saudi Qiddiya Initiative Aims to Become Esports Hub with New Incentive Program

Saudi Arabia's ambitious Qiddiya entertainment and tourism megaproject is reportedly crafting a financial incentive program aimed at attracting esports organizations and gaming companies to the city. According to The Esports Advocate, Qiddiya plans to partner with over 10 tournament organizers, 30 esports organizations, 25 game studios and publishers, and 30 consumer brands.

Central to this initiative is the Qiddiya Club program, designed to assist organizations in establishing offices in Riyadh and securing financial backing. The first wave of the program is expected to include at least 15 teams from Southeast Asia, South Korea, China, Japan, Africa, the Middle East, North America, South America, and Europe.

Participation in the Qiddiya Club Program requires esports teams to meet several criteria. These include setting up a legal entity in Saudi Arabia, generating domestic revenue, contributing to esports academy offerings, employing administrative staff, hosting professional teams, and creating content in Arabic.

The Qiddiya Program Management team will oversee the initiative, with the selection process scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2024. This strategic move underscores Qiddiya's commitment to becoming a global esports hub, leveraging financial incentives to attract leading industry players and foster a vibrant gaming ecosystem in the region.

Quick Bytes

Cyberpunk 2077 Mod Brings Multiplayer Dreams Closer to Reality

A multiplayer mod for Cyberpunk 2077 is in development, allowing 20 players to join a single map, heralding a new online experience for fans. The mod, first spotted by IGN, is named CyberMP and is being developed by a solo developer. Despite its early stages—player models still lack proper animations—it is operational. A YouTuber and others participated in a test, noting minimal connectivity issues. Initially, Cyberpunk 2077 was to include a multiplayer component as a "standalone product," but it was scrapped in favor of other updates. CyberMP revives hopes for cooperative and competitive gameplay in CD Projekt Red's sci-fi world.

Felicity Games Secures $700K Funding

Felicity Games, founded in 2023 by former Swiggy executive Anurag Choudhary, has secured $700,000 in pre-seed funding from top tech entrepreneurs including Swiggy's Sriharsha Majety, Cred's Kunal Shah, and Nazara Games' Manish Agarwal. The funding round also attracted DeVC, Visceral Capital, and angel investors. Felicity Games has published multiple titles on the Play Store, such as Nova Solitaire, Seek & Find, Save Dogster, and Riddle Math. According to a release, these games have garnered over a million monthly users across 14 countries, highlighting the company's rapid growth in the casual gaming market.

Pokémon Sleep Hits $100 Million in First Year, Japan Leads Spending

Pokémon Sleep has generated $100 million in its first year, according to AppMagic data. As reported by PocketGamer, Japan led player spending, contributing $73 million since the app's launch on July 17 last year. U.S. players added $15 million, while Taiwan followed with $4 million. The sleep-tracking app saw revenue peaks during events, notably earning $4 million during a week in December 2023. Since its launch, Pokémon Sleep has amassed 9.8 million downloads, with Japan accounting for 44%, the U.S. 17%, and Taiwan 7%. 

Volley Secures $55 Million to Expand Voice-Enabled AI Games

Volley has raised $55 million in a new funding round to expand its voice-enabled AI games for Amazon Alexa and other devices. The Series C round, co-led by Lightspeed and Microsoft’s M12 Ventures, also included General Catalyst, Causeway Media Partners, the Amazon Alexa Fund, Bitkraft, and Y Combinator. Founded by Max Child and James Wilsterman in San Francisco, Volley claims to be the highest-grossing AI-powered game company. Its popular games, including Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and 20 Questions, are played by over five million people monthly. The funding will accelerate the development of new AI-powered games leveraging advanced voice AI technologies.

Did You Know?

The origins of Pac-Man, one of the most enduring icons in video game history, can be traced back to a simple pizza. In 1979, Toru Iwatani, the Japanese game designer behind Pac-Man, found inspiration while dining. Observing a pizza with a single slice removed, he envisioned the character’s iconic shape, resembling an open mouth.

Iwatani's innovative design was aimed at broadening the appeal of video games, moving away from the prevalent themes of violence towards something more universally engaging. By focusing on the concept of eating, Iwatani crafted a game that resonated with a diverse audience, including women and couples, which was an unconventional target demographic at the time. Since its release in 1980, Pac-Man has become a cultural phenomenon, its pizza-inspired character still captivating gamers around the globe.

Quote of the Day

We win because we are determined. Disciplined. Not because we feel ourselves superior."
- Kratos, God of War

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.