US polls bring rich dividends to city game developers

US polls bring rich dividends to city game developers

The ‘Avion Flight Simulator’ downloaded more than 7.5 million times

When people across the globe were backing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump late last year, two game developers from the city bet their luck on the U.S. presidential elections.

Finally when the elections were declared, Asar Dhandala and Satish Chandra were richer by a few lakhs. The duo behind the mobile game, ‘Avion Flight Simulator’ introduced an update during the elections which doubled their revenues.

“We wanted to take advantage of the elections and introduced Air Force One flight, the official carrier of the U.S. President to the existing fleet,” said Mr. Dhandala.

“Users had to purchase the flight for $ 3 if they wanted to fly it using simulator. A lot of people paid for the additional feature and our revenues doubled during the U.S. elections,” he added.

The game has been downloaded more than 7.5 million times on Android, IOS and Windows operating systems since its launch in mid-2015. The game also helped the team generate revenues of around Rs. 50 lakh.

The game is a big hit in other countries than in India.

According to the developers, the game has the maximum downloads from USA, Russia, Brazil and Germany followed by India in the fifth position.

It was a chance meeting of the two gamers from Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology which gave birth to the idea of working on a simulator game.

“Though our target was three months, we developed the game within two months. We almost worked for 18 hours a day.

We analysed the top games and went through the reviews. We wanted to develop a product which was the best among the flight simulator games.

We are glad that our game is in the second position in this category of mobile games,” said Mr. Dhandala.

In 2017, the youngsters want to come up with a better version of the game which includes refined engines and improved graphics.

Highlights of the IMAGE Policy – 2016

The Government of Telangana unveiled, among other IT policies, the IMAGE policy on April 4, 2016, for the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming & Comics Industry (AVCGI).

Before we dive into the policy and its details, some number crunching for you to understand the opportunity size, which is Himalayan by any count:

  1. The Information and Communication Technology sector are recording a 17% growth and stand at USD 17 billion and make up 40% of exports from the state.
  2. The IT industry employs 4.5 lakh people in the state.
  3. The state’s IT industry ranks second in its performance compared to other states in India.
  4. Gartner reports that by 2019, the global IT spend will reach USD 3.9 trillion.
  5. Indian IT Industry has crossed the USD 147 billion mark recording a growth of 13%. It includes the domestic contribution worth USD 48 billion to the overall growth.

Now, on to the policy highlights:

Objectives

  • Make Hyderabad the most favoured destination for the AVCG industry.
  • Support for the development of manpower, infrastructure, and business.
  • Spread awareness about and create employment in the AVCG industry.
  • Strive for a larger share of the global outsourcing opportunity.
  • Creation of a framework for promoting IP creation and protection.
  • Promotion of local digital content for the education and entertainment for Indians.

The Government of Telangana proposes to achieve these objectives through these policy and strategy measures:

Infrastructure

Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSIIC) to become the nodal agency for developing and managing the infrastructure for the AVCG industry. Also, reputed private developers are expected to play a crucial role in the infrastructure development.

IMAGE City

The IMAGE city for Animation and Gaming will be set up in the Ranga Reddy district on the lines of the Media City in Dubai, UAE, and the Dutch Games Gardens in the Netherlands. The city will be a world class facility to promote Animation and Gaming.

Training

An academy to impart training in the AVCG sector will be established to create the talent pool and foster entrepreneurship. The government will also promote AVCGI courses and expert talks.

TASK

The Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) will play a major role in skill development for the AVCG sector.

Incubation

The Government of Telangana and the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) together have created an incubation centre dedicated to the AVCG industry. The Government of Telangana is also creating a funding mechanism to fund startups in the sector.

Reservation of Air Time

The Government of Telangana will coordinate with the Government of India to ensure that 5 to 15% of the air time for digital entertainment content is the content made in India.

The Government of Telangana has announced many fiscal incentives:

  1. 25% capital investment subsidy subject to terms and conditions.
  2. Reimbursement up to 20% of the production cost, if 80% of the production cost is incurred in Telangana.
  3. Exemption from the entertainment tax for animation VFX theatre film produced and released in Telangana.
  4. Reimbursement of internet charges up to 3 lakhs per annum for a maximum of 3 years.
  5. SC/ST/Women entrepreneurs will enjoy additional benefits if they have 51% stake or higher in an AVCG business.
  6. AVCG companies are exempted from statutory power cuts and will be encouraged to use renewable energy.

 

Apart from these major policy initiatives, the drive and the expectations based on realistic and optimistic industry factors and confidence were palpable on April 4, 2016, at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, where the Government of Telangana launched the policies.

The hall was filled with the bigwigs of the IT industry, the political and administrative heads of various departments and also entrepreneurs, students, and heads of IT companies of all sizes and shapes.

By arriving well ahead of the scheduled start time, the IT Minister Sri K.T. Rama Rao was the first person to send the signal to the industry, that the government means business. And the meeting started dot on time. Do we need to say more?

Happy Gaming.