Despite the gaming industry grappling with a 28% GST hike imposed by the Indian government, Krafton, the South Korean gaming giant, remains undeterred. In a bold move, the company has decided to nearly double its investments in India, bringing an additional Rs 1,200 crore ($150 million) to fuel the growth of gaming and AI-focused companies over the next two-to-three years.
Renowned for the popular game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), Krafton stands firm in its commitment to the Indian market. Despite BGMI's ban in July 2022 and its subsequent triumphant return in May this year, the company has continued strategic investments in various segments of the gaming and internet ecosystem.
Krafton's existing investments span Nodwin Gaming (esports), Loco (gaming live streaming), FRND (audio matchmaking), Nautilus Game (mobile cricket franchise), Fantiger (NFT marketplace), and Kuku FM (audio streaming). The infusion of an additional $150 million reflects the company's recognition of the escalating demand for gaming content in India.
Krafton India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn remains optimistic about the growing appetite for gaming content in India. Expressing the company's commitment to contribute to the gaming ecosystem and related fields, Sohn outlines plans to launch new games sourced both globally and locally.
Since its inception in India in early 2021, Krafton has already invested over Rs 1,100 crore ($140 million) in local startups. The latest $150 million injection will be strategically allocated, with one-third directed to existing properties, another third into gaming ventures, and the remaining portion into AI and deep learning companies.
Sohn highlights India's substantial tech talent pool as a driving force behind Krafton's active scouting for startups. The company recognizes the transformative impact of AI and deep learning tools on the gaming landscape and aims to stay at the forefront of these advancements.
Despite the government's imposition of a 28% GST on gaming companies, particularly impacting real-money gaming (RMG) firms, Krafton remains undeterred. The company's portfolio focuses on in-app purchases, sidestepping the cash-out dynamics associated with real-money games.
Sohn calls for government support in promoting esports leagues and fostering an environment conducive to the industry's growth. Noting the global emergence of esports as a mainstream sport, he cites Saudi Arabia's plans to launch an annual esports World Cup featuring the most popular games.
Krafton's decision to double its investments underscores a strategic vision for India's gaming and AI landscape. As the company injects an additional $150 million, it positions itself at the forefront of innovation and growth, contributing significantly to the evolution of India's tech ecosystem.
2023/12/03 21:00 71 slots left
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