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Pre Budget of 2023-Expectations Quotes in Esports and Video Gaming sector in India

By Naman Alok | Jan 18, 2023 | 5 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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Recently, in a historic move, The Indian government has officially recognized esports in the country. Esports will now be a part of the “multisports event” category in India under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports. Government spending on sports has been rising over several years. Expenditure on the Department of Sports under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has increased from Rs 657 crore in 2011-12 to around Rs 1,749 crore in 2021-22. According to budget estimates, this has gone up further to Rs 2,123 crore in 2022-23. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on February 1, 2023. Below are the quotes on behalf of the below-mentioned personalities on what are their expectations from this year’s budget in regard to this rising sector. Pre Budget of 2023-Expectations Quotes in Esports and Video Gaming sector in India

Mr Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, 8bit Creatives:

The esports industry is growing at an impressive percentage and is only forecasted to grow more in the coming years, both in terms of viewership and revenue. In the Union Budget 2022, we hope that the government will introduce measures to support the next phase of growth in the esports sector. The sector eagerly awaits a progressive policy structure from the government as well as considering levying a lower tax slab than the existing 18%. The sector aligns well with the government’s digital economy vision, and we expect the budget to lay out a specific plan for the growth of esports including setting up of a task force, plans for infrastructural development for esports, training programs, youth awareness programs and most importantly an esports vision for India, defining a future state where we want to be. We also need government impetus to invite more investments into the sector, through a mix of ease of business & financial incentives in the budget. With adequate support, the esports industry has the potential for overall economic growth, job creation and contribution to the government’s vision of a trillion-dollar digital economy by 2025.

Richa Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of FanClash, Asia’s Largest Esports Fantasy Platform:

No one can deny the fact that the esports and gaming industry has turned out to be the fastest-growing sectors in recent times. From business elites to the Indian Government, all are taking notice of the potential it holds for economic benefits. Adding to that, recognizing esports as a sport has further added to its advantage.

It is tough to predict much, but it would help the esports sector if the government can allot a decent share of the budget for the esports industry. Indian Esports still has a long way to go and needs attention on funding for research and development, it needs reforms in tax incentives for game developers and esports organizations. More training centres need to be built, we need professional trainers and exchange programs which could be beneficial to strengthen their strategies and be prepared for international tournaments. Additionally, governments may also consider regulations and policies to support the growth of the industry to minimize risks of fraud, protect the rights of gamers and promote fair competition.

Rohit N Jagasia, Founder and CEO of Revenant Esports:

We hope the 2023 budget will take steps to not only empower the gaming industry but also offer an incentive for the esports ecosystem in the country. This would help bolster technological integration and investment in the infrastructure to create new possibilities for youngsters in the esports and video game sectors. As the gaming industry has been flourishing, we are hoping the Government this time would take notice to offer some more support and protect the interests of this sunrise industry. We definitely depend a lot on direct investments and these investors play a crucial role. We hope they can suggest minimum taxation costs for this segment to attract more investors.

The multisport event tag adds value to the credibility of our new-age sports i.e. esports like any other mainstream sport played in our country and we hope the prize pool winnings of our esports athletes should be exempted from income tax just like any other sportsperson.

Mr. Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India

We are expecting a favourable move from our government during the Union Budget. Esports in the Indian landscape is progressing. The multisport event tag adds value to the credibility of esports like any mainstream sport enjoyed in India attracting more companies to invest as stakeholders or advertisers. In my personal opinion, the budget needs to be increased and allocated extensively for the growth of esports and the training of athletes. We need to find ways Indian esports can be taken further to the global platform which is only possible with better infrastructure, financial aid, and the right environment to nurture these talents.

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It would be a great advantage to the esports community if our Government considers allocating the “Esports Development Fund” similar to countries like Malaysia, Korea etc. which would support Indian gaming studios to build esports video game titles based on Indian history/ethos. Our players need facilities/training centres, advanced gear, boot camps and coaching to be set, we need to provide the top coaches, and other facilities to ensure they get complete support and can perform their best. Not only the government but the Corporates should also start allocating budgets for esports

Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus, the next-gen marketing agency specializing in the domains of gaming & lifestyle:

There are 3 major expectations from the 2023 Union Budget.

  • Firstly, there was a conversation a while ago about changing the GST slab from 18% to 28% for the online gaming segment. We genuinely hope this does not come into effect, since it would immensely affect our growing industry. We are currently on a gradually growing path of increasing in-app spending and purchases related to gaming. Making the slab 28% would set us back to square one.
  • Secondly, gaming – be it mobile or PC – requires hardware (semiconductors, batteries, etc). We are hoping there are some import duty relaxations on these items, or there is a bigger focus on the ‘Make In India’ initiative for these items. Any of these two actions will cause a drop in hardware cost, which will increase hardware accessibility and upgradability for gamers.
  • Lastly, we are hoping for internet & broadband services to be made cheaper & more accessible. The greater majority of the Indian gaming audience is from Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, and a slash in internet pricing would encourage more young adults to take up gaming.

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