Top gaming CEOs expressed their concerns over the ‘extortionist’ 30% tax imposed by Google on gaming apps at a panel discussion held at Consilience 2023, organized by the Law and Technology Society (L-Tech) at National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in partnership with All India Game Developers’ Forum (AIGDF).
Manish Agarwal, Co-Founder of IndiGG, stated that the 30% tax on gaming apps is unfair. “The 30% jagirdari tax is an extortion and I believe in India we should not allow anybody to do this, especially when you’re not an Indian company,” he said. He pointed out that, in a country like India, the focus needs to be to increase its propensity to pay and reduce friction in spending among consumers. Adding an extra 30% tax on top of the goods and services tax (GST) is a significant expense for consumers, which he believes is unproductive from a gamer’s perspective.
Anuj Tandon, Gaming Chief Executive Officer for JetSynthesys, expressed a similar sentiment. “When app stores and play stores were launched, the 30% fee was revolutionary compared to the 70% charged by OEMs or Telcos for game developers. At that time, it was a very good idea, but as the industry and business models have evolved, there needs to be a relook at the rates,” he added.
Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Mobile Premier League (MPL), highlighted that the 30% commission may be viable in advanced markets like the United States, but for India, it is crucial to ensure that Indian game developers receive more revenue to invest in game development and build more games. “Let’s evaluate the unit economics; if a developer charges 100 rupees, 30 rupees go to the play store or app store and 70 rupees goes to the developer,” he explained. “From that 70 rupees, they have to pay for hosting, user acquisition and other expenses. My view is that we should provide Indian game developers with more revenue to invest in game development and build more games.”
Sean Hyunil Sohn, Chief Executive Officer for Krafton Incorporated India, called for proper intervention by the government and encouraged the development of competition from third-party stores, supported by consumers.
Consilience 2023 marked the first conference of its kind to be held in the wake of the notification of the new online gaming rules by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The conference shed light on the legal and regulatory requirements that must be met, growth strategies to be adopted and policy needs for the industry to reach its full potential.
The conference explored topics such as online gaming regulations, taxation of gaming and new business opportunities that gaming companies can leverage. Speakers included Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder of Nodwin Gaming, Anupriya Sinha Das, Head of Corporate Development at Nazara, Rachit Rastogi, Chief Operating Officer for Good Game Exchange (GGX), Joyjyoti Misra, Group General Counsel for Gameskraft, Ritika Chatterjee, General Counsel for Mayhem Studios and Arun Prabhu, Partner at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. The panels were expertly moderated by professors of NLSIU like Dr Betsy Rajasingh (Associate Prof, NUJS), who has expertise in intellectual property and technology law, Professor Sanyukta Chowdhury, who specializes in tax, Professor Rahul Singh, Associate Professor of Law at NLSIU, whose expertise lies in corporate affairs and competition law, and Dr TS Somashekar, Professor of Economics, NLSIU.
“Consilience has always been a syncretic conference bringing together different perspectives on law and technology,” said Shikhar Sharma, Convenor of the Law and Technology Society 2022/23. “This year, we are proud to host it with AIGDF and bring in the perspective of business into the intersection of Law and Technology.”
PAGCOR Licensees Give PHP60-M for New VMMC Wing
The Veterans Memorial Medical Center will soon have more patient rooms with the start of construction for the Magiting Veterans Wing on Friday, September 22, through a Php60 million grant from two licensees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
The Magiting Veterans Wing is a project initiated by the Philippine Military Academy Magiting Class of 1970 with funding support from Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc. (BCFI) and Newport World Resorts Foundation, Inc. (NWRFI), among others.
The two foundations, representing Solaire Resort and Newport World Resorts, respectively, each released Php30 million with PAGCOR’s approval.
The project will be carried out in two phases. The first will be sponsored by BCFI and covers civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, masonry works and roof deck waterproofing while the second phase will be funded by NWRFI and consists of works, fixtures and devices.
The Magiting Wing will have a total floor area of 1379.84 square meters and will house 12 new private rooms inclusive of four suites, a nurse station, lounge area, hallway, storage, access ramp and connecting bridge to the main hospital building.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said the agency approved the grant from the casino foundations because of the project’s noble objective.
“PAGCOR recognizes the patriotism and sacrifice of Filipino veterans who dedicated their youth, vigor, strength and even lives for our country. By supporting this noble project, we show our gratitude to our modern-day heroes and their families,” he said.
Tengco said all integrated resort casino licensees in the country are required to put up a foundation to fund Corporate Social Responsibility programs on education infrastructure, health facilities, environmental preservation and cultural heritage restoration.
Two percent of the licensees’ gross gaming revenues from non-junket tables automatically go to such foundations.
Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, who graced the ceremonial concrete pouring for the project, expressed gratitude to the project supporters.
“As donee, we will provide the necessary maintenance and other operating expenditures to see to it that your donations will not go to waste,” he said.
Teodoro said other plans to improve the welfare of Filipino veterans include decentralising the VMMC’s services and the upskilling of hospital personnel so that doctors and specialists can focus more on caring for patients.
“No soldier ever retires. They are always a part of the system. They provide guidance and support to our active personnel hence their job as a soldier is never done,” he said.
Aside from BCFI and NWRFI, other major sponsors of the Magiting Veterans Wing project are DMCI, San Miguel Corporation and some retired military personnel.
Dubai Racing Club Opts for TPD’s Horse Tracking Solution
Total Performance Data, the world’s leading horse racing live data provider, has announced today that Dubai Racing Club is a new client.
Following successful live trials at last Spring’s Super Saturday and Dubai World Cup meetings, Dubai Racing Club has signed a multi-year deal to use TPD’s services beginning with the new season at Meydan Racecourse on Friday 10 November. This extends TPD’s content footprint in the fast-growing Middle Eastern horseracing scene where both of Saudi Arabia’s racecourses are already live.
TPD will produce live and post-race timing stats for every horse as well as live running order graphics for the world’s biggest set of on course screens, including the new 4k big screen.
Will Duff Gordon, CEO of TPD, commented: “We are very excited to be further enriching the wonderful racing that takes place at Meydan and look forward to a successful partnership. I’d like to thank our engineering partners at Gmax for so rapidly delivering the live service back in March.”
Mohammed Riaz, Head of IT for Dubai Racing Club, said: “When Trakus ceased trading we were impressed with the speed of set up and quality of output when Gmax and TPD met our needs for the climax of last season. We are excited to use this content on our new 4k big screen as well as for our international audience.”
The new season at Meydan Racecourse begins on Friday, November 10th and concludes with the $30.5million Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday, March 30th.
Niko Partners ‘India Games Market’ Report – India retains title as Asia’s fastest-growing video games market in 2023
- Meteoric rise in revenue: Niko Partners projects India video games revenue across all platforms to reach $868 million in 2023, up 21.2% YoY. India’s video game market is the fastest growing by gamers and revenue, which is forecast to reach $1.6 billion by 2027, growing at a 5-year CAGR of 17.2%. The report excludes revenue generated from Real Money Games.
- Player base keeps on expanding: The number of gamers in India across all platforms is forecast to reach 444 million in 2023, up 12.1% YoY, and reach 641.2 million in 2027, growing at a 5-year CAGR of 10.1%.
- Dominance of mobile gaming: India is a mobile-first market with 96.8% of total gamers playing on a smartphone or tablet.
- Game-spending is on an upward trajectory: 31% of the 444.4 million gamers will spend on video games in 2023, with annual ARPPU reaching $6.38.
- Esports continues to gain momentum: 71.8% of the total gamers have engaged with Esports by either playing an Esports game, watching or participating in an Esports tournament.
- Encouraging factors in terms of revenue growth and brand investment: The return of BGMI and Free Fire are positive signs for the industry and foreign game companies looking to enter the market.
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