Panel discussion at IGDC on “Predictions 2024”

Packing plenty of gaming punch over the last three days, the 15th annual edition of India Game Developer Conference (IGDC) came to a close at HICC Hyderabad on 4 November.

Over 4,000 plus attendees including game developers, publishers, investors, game developers, and gaming buffs had converged to lap up the riveting action in store. The IGDC Expo showcasing offerings of over 100 gaming companies was buzzing with gaming enthusiasts.

With over 200 plus gaming expert speakers from across 20 countries, the three-day conference saw about 125 plus hyperactive sessions that included panel discussions, talks, workshops across gaming technology, design and production. Also on focus were various Round Tables between industry, government representatives, academia and other policy makers put together by industry bodies such as Invest India, Start-up India, AIGDF, Primus Partners and MESC.

There were special sessions by conference partners: Unreal Developer Day, Xbox Discovery Day, Unity Dev and Google Dev sessions running parallelly.

The Investor-Publisher Connect, IGDC’s flagship networking initiative saw the highest ever entries. More than 130 applicants and 1800 plus curated meetings between gaming studios and startups with investors and publishers in one-to-one and speed dating formats were some key highlights from the conference.

Building up momentum was the BYOG initiative (Build Your Own Game), which saw a record number of 700 plus participants. They collectively made 170 plus game submissions for the judges to evaluate.

L to R: Lakshya Digital’s Manvendra Shukul, IGDC chairman Rajesh Rao, IGDC’s Sridhar Muppidi

IGDC 2023 kicked off with the launch of Lumikai State of India Gaming report F723, a collaboration with Google, which highlighted the Indian gaming market to hit the $7.5 billion valuation mark by FY28. The conference then quickly graduated to many high-octane sessions through the day.

IGDC chairman Rajesh Rao said, “Driven by a robust and favourable ecosystem, the gaming industry is now seeing rapid growth, especially the Indian gaming market which is becoming one of the largest gaming markets in the world. The Lumikai State of India Gaming Report released at IGDC 2023 interestingly points out that a fascinating dimension to this gaming boom is the substantial participation of women, constituting an impressive 41 per cent of the total gaming community. What’s even more captivating is that 66 per cent of gamers hail from non-metro regions, underscoring the democratisation of gaming experiences across the country.”

SuperGaming wins Most Popular Game for Indus

Celebrations followed on Day 2 as the much-awaited IGDC Awards 2023 was announced. The awards honoured game developers and studios across 10 categories.

IGDC director Sridhar Muppidi said: “IGDC today has become one of the top five Game Developer Conferences in the world. Considered South Asia’s biggest developer conference, we have been consistently attracting large-scale international participants who are keen on understanding the Indian gaming market and partnering with Indian developers. We had over 70 plus investors keen on investing in the Gaming sector and IGDC provided them the perfect platform for exploring these opportunities. These investors announced a lot of gaming incubators and funding initiatives during IGDC. Overall, it has been a great event and we look forward to hosting a bigger conference next year.”

Day 3 of the conference focused on the emerging esports sector with some engaging panel discussions and talks.

Powered by Unreal Engine, the 15th IGDC had Nazara Technologies as diamond sponsor and Krafton India as its platinum sponsor and MIXI, Inc as the gold sponsor. With the Government of Telangana as state sponsor, Google Cloud and Unity were on board as silver partners and Prytania Media as the experience partner, Reliance Games as co-sponsor of the After Party, the conference had Microsoft Xbox and Winzo as bronze sponsors. Govt. of United Kingdom as country partner, Arsht- Rock Atlantic Council was the awards partner, Lakshya Digital, the diversity and inclusion partner and Peak XV as the Speaker Lounge sponsor. Among the associate sponsors were Elevation Capital, TapNation, Audiomob, Payoneer, 88Games, Adjust, Agora, NCore Global, Liftoff, Moloco, SocialPeta and RedApple Tech with Funcell, Apptweak and Yesgnome as supporting partners.