Pixel P&L: Unraveling the Regulatory Challenges of 'Online Games'

Vignesh Raghuram
Updated On: 
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Pixel P&amp;L</p></div>
Pixel P&amp;L


AFK Gaming

Good morning. It's Wednesday, June 26. In today's edition, we explore the regulatory challenges in India's gaming industry arising from the classification of video games as 'Online Games,' a category that also includes Real Money Games. We also report on Prime Video's integration of Crunchyroll into its streaming service and BGMI's return to Star Sports. Read on for more updates from the realms of gaming and youth culture.

First time reading? Sign up here.

Navigating the Regulatory Maze of 'Online Games'

The classification of 'Online Games' under distinct GST brackets in India has ignited a contentious debate, affecting both real money games and video games. This regulatory puzzle, reminiscent of past legal battles over gaming classifications, now confronts modern digital realities.

In our latest feature, Harish delves into the intricate web of India's gaming regulations, where the classification of 'Online Games' under different GST brackets sparks debate and legal scrutiny. Historical precedents and current challenges shape the landscape, tracing back to the pioneering legal battles of R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala and extending to modern-day amendments aimed at securing the digital gaming sphere.

We dissect the unintended consequences faced by video game developers under evolving regulatory frameworks. We also explore how Tamil Nadu's proactive stance on online gambling adds another layer of complexity, challenging industry norms and constitutional boundaries.

Prime Video India Integrates Crunchyroll, Enhancing Anime Access

Prime Video India has introduced Crunchyroll to its Channels lineup, broadening the scope of anime content available to Indian audiences. Prime members can now subscribe to Crunchyroll for INR 79 per month, providing access to over 800 anime titles, including the latest series and films released simultaneously in Japan.

This move includes over 40 new anime shows for the current season, such as Kaiju No.8 and Black Butler - Public School Arc. Notably, some titles will be offered in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, in addition to English, catering to a diverse linguistic audience.

Gaurav Bhasin, head of Prime Video Channels and movie rentals in India, noted the growing demand for anime in India. "We are committed to expanding our library with popular Japanese animation. Launching Crunchyroll on Prime Video Channels helps us provide a wider variety of content to our subscribers," Bhasin stated.

Terry Li, executive vice president of business development at Crunchyroll, highlighted the appeal of their extensive anime library. "We aim to attract new fans through our partnership with Prime Video, offering a vast array of genres and the latest releases," he commented.

This integration follows Crunchyroll’s global distribution deal with Amazon, which began in October, making Crunchyroll available on Prime Video Channels in several countries, including the U.S. and Canada, with further expansions planned throughout 2024.

Quick Bytes

Midnight Society Cuts Ties with Co-Founder Dr Disrespect Amid Allegations

Game studio Midnight Society has cut ties with co-founder and streamer Guy "Dr Disrespect" Beahm following recent allegations linked to his 2020 Twitch ban. A former Twitch employee claimed Beahm was banned for inappropriate messaging with a minor. Beahm, in a statement, admitted to having Twitch whisper messages with a minor in 2017 but denied any criminal intentions, stating, "These were casual, mutual conversations that sometimes leaned too much in the direction of being inappropriate, but nothing more." 

He clarified that no illegal activity occurred and the issue was resolved through a civil settlement with Twitch. Beahm acknowledged his moral responsibility, saying, "I should have never entertained these conversations to begin with. That's on me as an adult, a husband, and a father. It should have never happened." Midnight Society emphasized the need to uphold its principles and integrity in making the decision to part ways with Beahm.

Casetify Launches Limited Edition Jujutsu Kaisen Collection

Casetify has launched its limited edition Jujutsu Kaisen x Casetify Collection, available globally. The collection features cases for iPhones, Samsung S and Z series, and Google phones, adorned with Jujutsu Kaisen characters such as Yuji Itadori and Megumi Fushiguro. It also includes special hologram sticker cases. Additionally, the collection offers accessories for AirPods, Apple Watch bands, iPad covers, 2-in-1 chargers, power banks, snappy chargers, and grip stands. This is Casetify's second collaboration with Jujutsu Kaisen, and each phone case purchase includes a blind pack of collectible Jujutsu Kaisen trading cards.

Ubisoft and BLAST Announce Final Rainbow Six Major of 2024 in Montreal

Ubisoft and BLAST have announced that the final BLAST Rainbow Six Major of the 2024 season will be held in Montreal, Canada, from November 7 to 17. This marks the return of Rainbow Six Esports to Canada since 2023. The event will take place at Montreal’s Verdun Auditorium, featuring 20 of the world’s top teams competing in a three-phase format. The final weekend will be open to the public, with thousands expected at the Verdun Arena. Teams will vie for a share of the $750,000 prize pool and points for the Six Invitational 2025. Tickets are available online.

NODWIN Gaming Announces BGMI Masters Series Season 3

NODWIN Gaming has announced the third edition of the BGMI Masters Series (BGMS), which will be broadcast live on Star Sports from July 19 to August 11. Featuring 24 of India’s top teams, the tournament is one of the country’s largest Battlegrounds Mobile India events. Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming, emphasized the importance of BGMS in India’s esports scene and its ongoing broadcast on a major sports network. The event continues its partnerships with TVS Raider and Philips OneBlade.

Did You Know?

During the height of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests in 2020, activists found an unexpected digital haven for their messages: the popular video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This whimsical life-simulation game, known for its serene island settings and adorable characters, became a platform for political expression and international solidarity.

Activists creatively used the game's customization features to design in-game signs and artwork that criticized China’s policies and supported Hong Kong's autonomy. Virtual protests were organized, with players visiting each other’s islands to share messages that would be censored on traditional social media platforms in China. Slogans such as "Free Hong Kong, Revolution Now" were prominently displayed alongside images of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The movement caught global attention when Joshua Wong, a prominent activist, tweeted about using Animal Crossing to spread protest messages. This digital form of dissent led to Animal Crossing being pulled from Chinese e-commerce platforms like Taobao, illustrating the lengths to which authorities would go to silence even virtual protests.

Quote of the Day

If you begin to regret, you'll dull your future decisions and let others make your choices for you. All that's left for you then is to die. Nobody can foretell the outcome. Each decision you make holds meaning only by affecting your next decision."
- Erwin Smith, Attack on Titan

Published On: 
author profile picture
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.