Pixel P&L: When TDS Meets Online Gaming

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


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It’s Thursday, July 11. In today’s feature story, we delve into RummyTime’s unexpected partnership with ClearTax and its broader implications. We also examine a recent report highlighting a staggering twentyfold increase in India's online gaming workforce over the past six years, and more.

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The Curious Case of TDS and Online Games: RummyTime and ClearTax’s Surprising Partnership

In an unexpected move, RummyTime, an online skill gaming platform, has partnered with income tax filing service ClearTax, offering a unique incentive: reimbursements for tax filing fees as ‘Discount Credits’ in their game wallet. This seemingly incongruous collaboration sheds light on the complex tax landscape confronting India's rapidly growing online gaming sector.

With the Indian government’s recent removal of the INR 10,000 threshold for TDS on gaming winnings, players now face a 30% TDS on net winnings. This change has sparked a demand for tailored tax advisory services. RummyTime and ClearTax have capitalized on this need with a promotional offer that simplifies tax filing for gamers.

While this partnership is a strategic move to attract gamers to ClearTax’s services, it also raises significant ethical concerns. Our latest feature delves into the implications of intertwining tax compliance with gaming incentives, examining the potential consequences and broader impacts of this approach.

India's Online Gaming Workforce Reportedly Expands Twentyfold Since 2018

The Indian online gaming industry has witnessed a significant workforce expansion, growing twentyfold from 2018 to 2023, with an compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 97.56% over the same period, according to a new report by the Foundation for Economic Growth and Welfare (EGROW Foundation) and Primus Partners.

The report underscores the burgeoning online gaming sector's significance as a burgeoning employment hub. It highlights a particularly notable increase in female participation, with the female workforce in the industry experiencing a CAGR of 103.15% from 2018 to 2023.

The study also reveals that the online gaming industry's contribution to the Media & Entertainment (M&E) sector is expected to rise from 3.4% in 2019 to 10.5% by 2024 and 12.6% by 2026. Similarly, the sector's share of the AVGC (Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic) industry is projected to soar from 41% in 2019 to 68% by 2026.

Quick Bytes

Honor of Kings Reveals SEA Championship Plans for December

Honor of Kings has announced the Southeast Asia Championship for December, supporting the game’s expansion from grassroots to professional levels. The SEA Championship will feature top regional teams and follows 14 Open Series Split 2 qualifiers from July to September across various regions, culminating in the Invitational Championship in October. This investment is part of Honor of Kings' $15 million strategy to solidify its global presence, building on its June 20 international launch after previously being exclusive to China.

Sony Music, Aniplex, and Pocketpair Form Palworld Entertainment to Expand the Game

Sony Music Entertainment, Aniplex, and Palworld developer Pocketpair have formed a joint venture, Palworld Entertainment, to expand the game's global reach. Announced on social media, the collaboration aims to grow the IP through licensing and merchandise on Aniplex's store, according to Siliconera. Palworld, released earlier this year, quickly sold six million copies in four days and became the largest third-party Xbox Game Pass launch, reaching 25 million players by February. 

Lakshya Digital Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Major Gaming Achievements

Indian game art and animation studio Lakshya Digital is marking its 20th anniversary with a series of notable achievements. In recent months, the company has collaborated with industry giants such as Square Enix, Pocket Pair, FromSoftware, and Cygames. According to a release, Lakshya contributed to highly acclaimed titles including Granblue Fantasy: Relink, Palworld, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree. The studio's work on these projects encompassed 3D assets, character designs, and environmental elements, significantly enriching the games' immersive worlds. 

Apex Legends Faces Backlash Over New Battle Pass Scheme

Respawn Entertainment's recent changes to Apex Legends' battle pass system have sparked significant backlash, leading to a surge of negative reviews on Steam. The developer announced a shift from a single long battle pass to two shorter 60-tier passes per season, promising the same number of legendary skins but with less filler. However, the removal of the ability to save earned Apex Coins for future premium tiers, now requiring a $9.99 USD direct payment, has infuriated players. This change has led to over 1,300 negative reviews, dropping the game’s recent review score to "Mixed." Players have also voiced ongoing frustrations with cheaters, bugs, and server issues. Despite the uproar, Apex Legends remains one of Steam’s most popular games, peaking at over 230,000 concurrent players today.

Did You Know?

Did you know that The Baguio City Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Baguio, Philippines, hosted a Dota tournament for its inmates in July 2020, potentially marking the first-ever esports competition within prison walls. This innovative event was first reported by “95.7 Brigada News FM Koronadal,” whose pictures of inmates engaged in fierce Dota battles quickly went viral, sparking a mix of fascination and support from the online esports community.

The tournament featured Warcraft 3: Dota, a choice likely driven by its capability to run on older hardware and function without an internet connection, making it ideal for a LAN setting. The sight of inmates competing in such a popular game was lauded as a progressive step in prisoner rehabilitation, highlighting the positive impact of recreational activities on inmate well-being.

Quote of the Day

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'."
- John Marston, Red Dead Redemption

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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.