Hyderabad: In a major boost to gaming, media and entertainment industry, the Telangana IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao announced that the much-awaited IMAGE Tower will be ready by late 2021 or early 2022. The Innovation in Multimedia, Animation, Gaming and Entertainment (IMAGE) Tower will be spread across 16 lakh square feet space and entail a total investment of Rs 1,000 crore, according to Rao who was speaking at the inauguration of Indiajoy 2019 – India’s biggest event for gaming, media and entertainment.
“The IMAGE Tower will be the hotbed for innovation in these spaces and it should be ready by 2021-end or early 2022. With the IMAGE Tower and our own policy on media and entertainment, we plan to make Telangana a hub for the South Asian industry in the gaming, technology and entertainment. The tower will help global giants with anything from animation to visual effects to gaming to motion capture technologies. Our policy will also encourage more firms to set shops in the State thus in turn providing employment to those residing in tier-2 and tier-3 towns,” said the Minister.
He also mentioned that they plan to make Telangana a hub for the South Asian industry in the gaming, technology and entertainment space with world-class technicians, post-production facilities, VFX setup. He informed that some part of the work is already happening with our very own Chota Bheem going global and a lot of VFX and post-production work for Hollywood movies happening out of Hyderabad.
In order to increase the skill availability, the Minister mentioned that as part of the policy, many new initiatives are being taken up which include introducing animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) as a subject in all fine arts courses in degree colleges and university programmes. “We also plan to train and provide placement through TASK and promote local content creation through reservation of air time in national channels,” he informed.
The capital city, according to Rao, houses 150 companies working in the VFX space providing direct employment to 30,000 people. In the same way, the gaming industry in the city has grown 10 fold in the last 10 years with 250 gaming startups coming up in Hyderabad. Quoting various reports, Rao said, “As per research, the animation industry is a $270 billion market which has taken a huge leap with technological advancements over the years. It’s important to make localised animation content and usher in regional content for OTT platforms because the market potential is huge.”