iWorld

The world of Indian e-sports, according to Nodwin Gaming's Akshat Rathee

Rathee believes it's important to have a proper regulatory body in India.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/08/ar.jpg?itok=WdKUOkOA

MUMBAI: Perhaps because people have been stuck in their homes due to the Covid2019 pandemic, the e-sports industry is bigger and bolder than ever before. For many gaming platforms, user engagement was at an all-time high during the lockdown and even now, the revenues are continuing to pour in.

Nodwin Gaming MD Akshat Rathee, an avid e-athlete himself has revolutionized the e-sports industry in India and has almost single-handedly expanded the company to the middle east and south Africa. In a virtual fireside chat with indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari, Rathee spoke at length about e-sports in India and the international market and the challenges faced by the industry.

Online games have three key segments: casual games, e-sports, and real money games (RMG) that are basically skill-based online games played for stakes. However, Rathee said that there is no clear bifurcation between games in India, anything that is digital and has competition is termed as e-sports by people. This is not the case in the US or UK.

He also highlighted that outside India, the law is clearer on what constitutes gambling, skill-based games and real money gaming. He explained: “In terms of practical implications, an American or European customer is worth far more than the Indian one. But during the pandemic, physical events were cancelled and that impacted the value of sponsorship more in the western world.”

In India online viewership counts for a lot, said Rathee, citing PUBG live streams that millions tune into. “Even after the ban, the entire segment has grown… In the 45 days since the downfall of PUBG in India, a lot of other games have cropped up,” he observed.

According to Rathee, game publishers did really well during the Covid2019 pandemic. “New games were being discovered, games like The Fall Guy started becoming very popular. Apart from this, game casters benefited a lot but the algorithms did not favour the smaller players in the market,” he added.

Read more news on Gaming Industry

Answering Wanvari’s question on how to clear the clutter and mess that has mucked up the e-sports and gaming ecosystem, Rathee opined that bringing in clear and well-defined regulatory measures is the only option.

“Having a differentiated definition of the word e-sports that is as per Indian regulation and doesn’t apply to the rest of the world will not work. E-sports is a speed competition. Just because a person has more money doesn’t mean he can play twice. The e-sports game needs to be fair as well so that everyone gets equal opportunity to win the competition,” he explained.

Rathee defined e-sports as something that has physicality of results. It is the physicality of moves and actions that is the differentiator between the results of the participants. For instance, chess.com clearly mentions that chess is not a sport but a game. He further added, 

“E-sports are and need to be dependent on publishers. We are the world’s first sports category that is owned by someone from the very beginning. Owner of Kings belongs to Tencent, Bluehole owns PUBG, while Call of Duty is an Activision entity. So it is someone’s property – everything about the game, from the IP, data, rules, players and to the systems belongs to them,” he clarifies.

Rathee went on to say: “Another important thing is to understand the business of sports. The question arises – is e-sports a B2C business anywhere in the world without the publisher?” In his opinion, e-sports has always been a B2B business, for the simple reason that a sports organization is making money from sponsorship and media rights.

The gaming industry is at a watershed moment where the youth, information and technology, finance and IT ministry are actively making plans to regulate the sector. But there exists the roadblock of censorship and data privacy. The gaming industry is also stuck between the state and central government over GST issues. Rathee asserted that while the gaming industry is valued at less than Rs 10,000 crores, it’s like the goose with the golden egg for the government – precisely because it holds sway over the millennials and Gen Z, as well as the future of social media.  

Rathee argued that it is not easy to remove one country from the ecosystem. China also has a regulatory body that makes it mandatory for companies to license the games.

“China is in a position to ban many e-sports and games because they run the ecosystem. China already has a regulatory body which could say that you have to license games through us without which we won’t let you do it. Due to the fragmentation of the internet, the Middle East is raising concern over their cultural sensibilities. So, it is a very thin line if you put a regulatory framework in place that can be exploitative,” he shared.

At the end, the question raised is whose interest you are working for. “It is important to have a proper regulatory body in place so that the industry grows,” he emphasised.

It is high time the industry developed a strident voice of its own, declared Rathee, because most of the world outside India often looks at mobile gaming and mobile e-sports as second-class citizens to the e-sports ecosystem.   

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/08/02/photogrid_plus_1627902618756.jpg?itok=RvEn1bzB
MX Player launches interactive film ‘Balcony Buddies’

Mumbai: Entertainment app MX Player in association with Amazon, exclusively premiered its second interactive film ‘Balcony Buddies’ to celebrate Friendship Day on 1 August. The film is an extension of e-tailing giant’s ‘Har Pal Fashionable’ campaign. 

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/08/02/photogrid_plus_1627900501519.jpg?itok=kYFaLgV8
UEFA partners with AVIWEST for Euro 2020 coverage across Europe

Mumbai: Live video contribution solutions provider AVIWEST was appointed by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to support selected off-venue events, including official team training and press conferences from Europe's biggest football show — UEFA Euro 2020 — using a bonded cellular...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/31/photogrid_plus_1627714164553.jpg?itok=kr5gBjUC
Trell celebrates bond of friendship with #TrellMereYaar campaign

Mumbai: Homegrown social commerce platform Trell has announced a new campaign #TrellMereYaar to celebrate Friendship Day on 1 August. The ten expert 'Trellers' - Anusha Swamy, Rohil Jethmalani, Tanaya Mahajan, Sanchit Batra, Rose Kawatraa, Macedon D'mello, Jeet Nayak, Disha Batra, and Clince...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/30/photogrid_plus_1627636661490.jpg?itok=kN2lIhoh
Vikatan Televistas & Motion Content Group set to bring new digital series

Mumbai: Vikatan Televistas in association with Motion Content Group and YouTube is all set to bring digital daily series Aadhalinaal Kaadhal Seiveer (AKS) for the audience. The show directed by Rajiv K Prasad with a screenplay penned by Ve Ki Amirtaraj & Joe George, is a slice-of-life drama...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/29/photogrid_plus_1627565687036.jpg?itok=DEo7ZE8L
'Toofan' is Amazon Prime's most watched Hindi film within premiere week

Mumbai: Amazon Prime Video had recently streamed the world premiere of much-anticipated films across multiple languages. Now, the OTT giant has revealed the viewing data of films, series titles that performed well within their premiere weeks so far this year. Leading the race is actor Farhan Akhtar...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/29/raja.jpg?itok=u7EyXGv6
Cosmos-Maya names Rajaram Sundaresan the director of operations, international

Mumbai: Animation major Cosmos-Maya on Thursday announced the appointment of Rajaram Sundaresan as the director of operations for international business. In his new role, Sundaresan will look to take responsibilities ranging from project management and client relations to revenue maximisation for...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/28/photogrid_plus_1627472843343.jpg?itok=njUXuvUs
FanCode to live-stream WI vs PAK in India

Mumbai: Digital sports platform FanCode has announced that it will be exclusively live streaming the 2021 Pakistan tour of the West Indies. The tour will be available to watch on FanCode app and website in India. As an added attraction, sports fans can access in-depth sports analytics, insights,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/28/photogrid_plus_1627456543188.jpg?itok=gLo3I7p3
The Q announces its line-up of new-age comedy series

Mumbai: Following the success of 'BakLol' and recognising the audiences’ burgeoning need for light-hearted content, a Hindi general entertainment platform, The Q has further strengthened its content slate.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/28/box.jpg?itok=KbGcimE6
OTT aggregator PlayboxTV onboards ZEE5 and SonyLIV

OTT aggregator app PlayboxTV which allows viewers to watch multiple OTT platforms and Live TV under one roof has brought onboard ZEE5 and SonyLIV to enhance its proposition.

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required