As the animation and gaming industry in India is poised to cross the $1 billion mark by next year, efforts are on to reach the next level. Custom content development and training of workforce are some of the priority segments of the industry.

The high expectations on the sector could not be realised due to global economic downturn in the recent past, experts say. But apparently, the slowdown did not impact Indian players. They moved up the value chain by adopting new service models.

Nasscom survey

According to a Nasscom survey, gaming and animation are no longer “sunrise” industries. Instead, they have started taking wing in different directions. It says, “While the Indian animation and gaming industry is still in the nascent stage, the sector is expected to show significant growth in the near future as global outsourcing within the market takes off.”

The country could emerge as a significant destination for such outsourced work in the years to come. Animation has found use in segments such as entertainment (including TV broadcast, fully animated movies, direct-to-DVD and VFX), e-Education and web designing, it says.

The survey identifies at least three key factors behind the growth of the Indian animation/gaming industry. Cost competitiveness continued to be the major edge for the country, causing global studios to come to India. The study predicts that a number of leading Indian mobile games development companies are expected to migrate from the outsourcing model to co-production model.

It also indicates that custom content development would continue to be the largest segment, though its share is expected to come down from 41 per cent to 33 per cent. The decrease will be compensated by a corresponding increase in the share of the animation education market, which is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent. The gaming industry is expected to touch $ 1,060 million by 2012, with an expected CAGR of 50 per cent, in the same period.

With 3-D mobile games gaining popularity overseas, the component of graphics designing outsourcing is expected to go up in the future.

To sustain the momentum and make the sector more popular, Backstage Pass, a professional finishing school for a career in game development, has tied up with the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University for offering courses in game development.

The collaboration, the first of its kind in the country, is offering bachelor programmes - B.Tech (computer science & game development), BFA (game art & animation) and BFA (game design). The focus, according to Backstage Pass managing director P. Surya, is on teaching basics of traditional art and history of games in different genres.