Pixel P&L: Zerodha’s Nikhil Kamath Gets Serious About Video Games

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


AFK Gaming

Good morning. It’s Friday, July 5. We’re holding off on today’s feature story as we await key responses on the state of cloud gaming in India. In the meantime, we recommend reading about the launch of the ‘WTF Gaming Fund,’ aimed at supporting aspiring game developers and entrepreneurs.

Additionally, we delve into a new report revealing that Telangana is actively engaging with esports industry stakeholders to formulate comprehensive gaming policies. We cover these topics and other developments in gaming, esports, and more.

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Zerodha’s Nikhil Kamath Launches 'WTF Gaming Fund' 

Nearly a year ago, Nikhil Kamath - co founder of the discount brokerage firm Zerodha alluded to esports becoming the next big sensation in India. Around six months later, he put his money where his mouth is, when Kamath Associated & NKSquared (backed by Zerodha’s co-founders) invested INR 100 Crore in Nazara Technologies. Not long after, Kamath was seen hosting 160+ minute podcast episode on his YouTube channel discussing the Indian gaming industry with prominent industry stakeholders. 

All of this has finally culminated into the launch of the 'WTF Gaming Fund' with a stated aim of supporting entrepreneurs and developers in the gaming industry.

Kamath shared his insights on X, stating, "When I was younger, cricket had all our attention, whether it was playing, watching or cheering.. it seems like in the younger generation today, cricket has been replaced with games.. It’s been intriguing to see how the gaming landscape has evolved over time.”

The WTF Gaming Fund is now accepting applications, providing a unique opportunity for innovators in the gaming industry to secure funding and support. Kamath emphasized that the fund is not limited to game development alone, but is open to various projects within the industry. He encouraged potential applicants to register through the WTF Gaming Fund Application.

Telangana’s IT Minister Engages in Talks with Esports Industry Stakeholders

Telangana could introduce comprehensive esports policies soon. According to a report from Storyboard18, industry stakeholders recently met with the state’s IT Minister D. Sridhar Babu to discuss key issues, including taxation on esports prize pools, the distinction between skill-based and chance-based games, and the regulation of gaming content creators.

Velocity Gaming owner Manoj Kasyap, reportedly confirmed the discussions. "We have engaged with state officials and the IT Minister extensively to shape forthcoming policies and regulations," he said. The proposed policies include establishing governing bodies to oversee esports activities.

Currently, esports tournament winnings are taxed at a flat rate of 30% under Section 194B of the Income Tax Act, plus a 4% health and education cess, bringing the effective tax rate to 31.2%. Kasyap highlighted concerns about these tax implications, noting that esports should be distinguished from money-based games.

The discussions also reportedly focused on differentiating esports from online gaming and establishing regulatory frameworks for gaming content creators to mitigate toxicity and ensure responsible content on streaming platforms.

Quick Bytes

Google's Carbon Emissions Surge 48% Amid AI Expansion

Google's 2023 greenhouse gas emissions surged 48% higher than in 2019, driven by energy-intensive data centers fueled by AI growth, according to its latest environmental report. The report highlights the challenge of achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 amid escalating energy demands from AI. Despite advancements, AI-powered services require significantly more electricity than standard online activities, raising concerns about their environmental impact. Google's report reveals disparities, with European and American data centers using more carbon-free energy compared to those in the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. 

MSI Launches The Claw Handheld Gaming Console in India

MSI has introduced its handheld gaming console, the Claw, to the Indian market. Powered by Intel Core Ultra processors and Intel Arc  Graphics, the Claw is available in three variants: the Ultra 5 with a 512GB SSD at Rs 78,990, the Ultra 7 with a 512GB SSD at Rs 86,990, and the Ultra 7 with a 1TB SSD at Rs 89,990. The device features a 7-inch FHD 120Hz touch display which has a typical brightness level of 500 nits. Consumers can purchase the MSI Claw through major e-commerce platforms, including Amazon and Flipkart.

Masala Games' Detective Dotson to Debut on Xbox

Indian independent game developer Masala Games has announced that its upcoming mystery adventure game, Detective Dotson, will be released on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S as part of the ID@Xbox Developer Acceleration Program. The program supports new and underrepresented developers in bringing their projects to Xbox. While a specific release date has not been provided, the game is expected to launch in Q4 2024. Detective Dotson, set in India and inspired by Bollywood and crime dramas, will feature a single-player episodic story and two-player couch co-op levels. A free demo is available on Steam for PC users.

College Rivals Season 2 Revealed

Ampverse DMI has unveiled the second season of its gaming talent competition, College Rivals, known as Rivalry Reloaded. The campaign includes initiatives targeting both gaming and entertainment audiences, with participation from over 50 colleges in 22 cities. Students nationwide can register online starting July 4. The event, featuring a Gaming Truck tour from July 15, will last eight months and includes games such as Valorant, BGMI, and EA FC 24. Monthly qualifiers will lead to a grand finale with an INR 50 lakh prize pool and a chance to join a top gaming organization.

Did You Know

Did you know that the molds used to create the ill-fated Atari Jaguar gaming console found a second life in the world of dentistry? Despite its ambition to dominate the 64-bit gaming era, the Atari Jaguar struggled to compete with industry giants like Sega and Nintendo, leading to its discontinuation in the mid-1990s. However, this was not the end of the line for the console's manufacturing legacy.

In a unique twist, the molds originally designed for the sleek, futuristic casing of the Jaguar were repurposed by a dental equipment manufacturer. Instead of gathering dust in a forgotten warehouse, these high-quality, durable molds were adapted to produce dental equipment cases and components. 

Quote of the Day

What is a man but the sum of his memories? We are the stories we live! The tales we tell ourselves!"
– Clay Kaczmarek, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

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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.