India’s PM calls for games based on ‘Indian culture and folk tales’

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken out in favor of the national games industry, encouraging the creation of games based on Indian culture.

An official statement was released this week on Prime Minister Modi’s website, which discussed the potential of India’s toy industry – a broad category that also includes video games.

Although much of the statement referred to toys as a whole, it identified video games as an area of ​​focus. Modi recognized the need for “hackathons” involving young people and students, to encourage innovation in the country’s games industry.

Modi also pointed out that “India should harness the huge potential in this field and lead the international digital game industry by developing games inspired by Indian culture and folk tales.”

The declaration positions the games on Indian culture and values ​​within the broader strategy of “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” – an initiative launched by Modi’s government in 2015, which aims to promote national pride and unity by celebrating the history and traditions of the Indian states and union territories.

A recent example of a game based on Indian folklore is Raji: An Ancient Epic, which was developed by Pune-based studio Nodding Heads Games and launched this month on Nintendo Switch.

In the larger entertainment context, games focused on Indian culture and traditions make sense; the country’s film industry, in particular, is hugely successful and does not rely on Hollywood-made products.

In’s coverage of the emerging Indian games industry, the idea that it emulates “Bollywood” has been an ever-present question.

Back in 2015, Dhruva Interactive founder Rajesh Rao told us, “If you look at the film industry in India, it’s dominated by Indian content. Television, dominated by Indian content. Music, dominated by Indian content.

“Unlike some other countries where Hollywood has destroyed the local film industry, this has not happened and will not happen in India. We like to tell stories in our own way… If there is a game industry which will become a mass market, I have no doubt that it will also be dominated by Indian content.”

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