Alisha Chinai's Made in India (1995) made headlines for all the right and wrong reasons, not least because of Milind Soman's snake. And that was just one visual. While the world has progressed leaps and bounds beyond bad CGI, Indian artistic talent has seemingly gone handin- hand.
Consider the game Returnal, exclusive (so far) to the recently released Sony PS5 console, or the newest version of PlayStation at is known to the less obsessed. According to its own website and its Wikipedia entry, "The game follows Selene, an Astra scout who lands on the planet Atropos in search for the mysterious white shadow signal and finds herself trapped in a time loop."
A lot of this storyboard was drawn on the easels (e-easels?) of Gurugram-headquartered Lakshya, one of India’s leading game art and animation services company. Returnal is Sony PlayStation 5's exclusive game from the house of Finland-based game developer, Housemarque. It is, according to many lists, the best PS5 exclusive and is at the top of every gamers’ list.
Lakshya works for major game developers like Sony, Microsoft etc. and is one of the few companies globally to have six game development teams globally, with a presence in Gurugram, Bengaluru and Pune in India, Seattle in USA, Tokyo in Japan, and London in the UK. With the leadership team in place, the new Bengaluru studio began operations in March of this year.
Speaking exclusively to The New Indian Express, Manvendra Shukul, Founder, Lakshya, noted, "These are exciting times for the Indian gaming industry. The domestic gaming market has witnessed compounded growth and is now believed to be worth over USD 1 billion. In 2010, there were just about 25 game development studios in India. Today, it is in excess of 300. This is one industry that has actually seen significant growth due to the pandemic as an increasing number of people, locked-in at home, took up gaming for entertainment."
Speaking on the collaboration with Lakshya, Niko Mäkelä, Art Manager, Housemarque said, "Lakshya joined us quite early in production of Returnal for Playstation 5, expanding our reach in rigging and animating a wide range of in-game creatures. Lakshya created a good number of props and key environment assets in 2020. Most of the latter were epic in size but still detailed. Through our collaboration, we were able to find common grounds and an atmosphere of shared investment and responsibility."