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An Era of Immersive Interactive Media from India, For The World Globally, gaming technologies often act as a vanguard of innovation and seed creative exploration into pushing the boundaries of technology to real-world use cases

By Salone Sehgal

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It's 2024 & Speilgberg's imagination on screen has actually come to life. The last few years have been all about 'imagination tech', straight out of shows and movies like The Peripherals and Free Guy. Imagination has been a key driver of innovation, from the rise of AI to the metaverse to now spatial computing.

AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) have been around for some time and had several false starts. However, today we have come a long way from these being fringe technologies to becoming the next big thing being leveraged across industries for various industrial and entertainment purposes. In 2024, these technologies are being used to improve surgical outcomes, provide safety training to heavy machinery operators, train F1 drivers, provide immersive gaming experiences, and many other applications.

India Has Rapidly Established Itself A S A Global Hub For Consuming And Creating World-Class Games. The Demand Is At An All-Time High With A Rapidly Growing Smartphone User Base And A Young, Cheap Data, And A Tech-Savvy Population

For the gaming population of the world, AR and VR are offering a deeper level of emotional connection, transforming players from passive observers into active participants in interactive narratives via what VR natives call a sense of "presence".

BEYOND PIXELS: WHERE GAMEPLAY BECOMES REALITY

The gaming sector in India is booming. With a market size projected to reach USD 7.5 billion by FY28, India has rapidly established itself as a global hub for consuming and creating world-class games. The demand for engaging gaming experiences is at an all-time high with a rapidly growing smartphone user base and a young, cheap data, and a tech-savvy population.

The lines between pixels and perception are dissolving faster than ever before. VR and AR are crafting unparalleled experiences, transporting players from flat screens to hyper-immersive landscapes. As an early-stage venture capital investor, we see more and more innovative use cases emerging across the gaming and interactive media landscape with companies leveraging frontier technologies in spatial computing, mixed reality and VR to build from India, for the world.

ROCKY ROAD, BUT A MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY FOR INDIA

The VR/AR revolution, while blazing with potential, navigates a nascent terrain filled with challenges. Hardware limitations can still be restrictive, with earlier headsets often bulky and expensive, deterring mass adoption – although more recent light headsets are addressing this problem at a rapid pace.

The Indian government, recognizing the immense potential of AVGC, has established the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force. This crucial step paves the way for supportive policies like tax breaks for VR/AR development, talent-skilling initiatives, and the creation of dedicated VR/AR support infrastructure..

INDIA'S EXPLODING INTERACTIVE MEDIA LANDSCAPE

India's interactive media landscape is transforming. Gaming has evolved to become a cultural phenomenon and captured the current zeitgeist of a young demographic who are digital natives. Globally, gaming technologies often act as a vanguard of innovation and seed creative exploration into pushing the boundaries of technology to real-world use cases. These possibilities make it ever more important for India to recognise the far-reaching implications of gaming as an industry which can be instrumental for technological supremacy.

Salone Sehgal

Founding General Partner, Lumikai

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