This Delhi-based edtech startup is bridging talent gaps in gaming, Web3 space

Founded in 2018, Outscal is an upskilling platform for game developers. The startup has expanded its scope from gaming to include Web3 as interesting use cases emerge in the tech ecosystem.
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Back in 2014, Mayank Grover, Founder of Outscal, realized that not only there is a talent shortage in the gaming industry but also that there are no channels in the existing education system to address this gap.

Speaking about his first job as a game developer Mayank says, “After my master's from CMU in 2014, I got my first full-time job as a game developer in Dena Games. It was an extensive four-year journey even after spending more than 50 lakhs to get into my first full-time job. And that was my first encounter with how hard it is to get into this industry.”

Later in 2015, while working at Junglee Games it took close to two years for Mayank and his team  to hire only one engineer in India.

“When we wanted to scale our team in India to build a portfolio of mobile games, we used to get a lot of applications, some even from premium companies like GSN and Disney, but they lacked the strong fundamental computer science knowledge in terms of what companies expect,” the founder tells YourStory.

“We were interviewing almost like a hundred people a month and we could only hire one. That was my second encounter with the problem. Hiring talent for the game development space is very hard,” recalls Mayank.

Later while working on his own game studio, he encountered the same problem.

This led Mayank to launch Outscal in 2018

Team Outscal

Building the talent pool

There are approximately 250,000 jobs in the global gaming industry annually, (on LinkedIn alone) out of which more than 50 percent are entry-level. Also to note, there are 1.25 million jobs globally if we combine gaming with Web3, which estimates to be an indicative $6.25 billion market, Mayank tells YourStory.

Although popular, the gaming industry in India is still in its nascent stage.

Mayank says, “Outscal serves two stakeholders, on one side we have a passionate audience of learners who are interested in getting into the gaming industry either from getting a job or they dream of building their own games and launching them hopefully turning into a full-fledged game studio in the future. On the other hand, we partner directly with established brands and fast-growing companies that are looking to hire talent to accelerate their product growth.”

Mayank Grover, Founder, Outscal

After working for a decade in the gaming industry and with over 13 years of total experience in the tech industry working at companies like Electronic Arts, Kixeye, DeNA in the US and Junglee Games, D.E.Shaw in India, Mayank has built a core team of 12 members in Outscal. 

Prior to Outscal, Mayank has also held consulting jobs with numerous gaming and tech startups to help them launch their games and products to market.

What it offers

Outscal started by creating course content for the Unity game engine (third-party game development software, used to create three-dimensional, two-dimensional, virtual reality, and augmented reality games, as well as simulations and other experiences). It consists of C#(sharp), data structure, algorithms, 2D games, 3D games, single-player, multiplayer concepts. 

From 2022 onwards, the startup has begun creating course content on Web3 side, which consist of courses on decentralisation, NFT, smart contracts, and tokenomics. 

Speaking about their expansion to Web3 Mayank says, “We have expanded the scope of gaming to Web3 because we are seeing huge demand for talent in the Web3 ecosystem. Outscal acts as a catalyst to bring the right ingredients of skill sets together in the intersection of gaming and Web3.”

Currently Outscal provides three programmes :

Launchpad program - It is a 6-week long cohort-based program where members build and launch game projects in a team environment with regular help sessions. The course charges Rs 25000/- with 100 percent scholarship available for a limited number of applications.

Full-stack game development, FSGD (flagship course) - A job guarantee placement program that comes with outcome-based fee options. Learners can pay the full course fee once they have been placed in a company as a game developer. Outscal is the only company worldwide that offers this option in the gaming ecosystem. Learners who are professionally inclined and want a job or launch their own gaming studios can join this flagship program.

Learn and earn - It is a reward-based self-paced learning program designed to learn and explore the opportunity in the gaming and Web3 ecosystem. This is a new program launched this year to provide open-source access to anyone interested in learning how to build games. 

Mayank says that through this program, learners not only just learn basics to advanced level concepts but also stand a chance to earn rewards and points. The idea behind adding gamification to this module is to make it more engaging for the learners, states mayank.

Outscal also has an open and active discord community with thousands of game developers, designers, artists, mentors, and experts. The platform regularly organises events, workshops, tournaments, game jams to educate, engage and prepare them for the gaming revolution.

Income-sharing agreement model - for full stack game development programme

Like several ‘study now, pay later’ startups that are gaining traction, Outscal also operates on an income-sharing agreement (ISA) model for its full-stack game development programme.

Mayank says that students don’t have to pay Outscal anything until they land a job. 

After completing the programme, if the student lands a job of a minimum of Rs 5 Lakhs per annum then the platform charges 17 percent of its gross salary for 3 years. This is subject to a total payment cap of Rs 3 Lakhs.  The Income Share Agreement has a total duration of six years from the programme commencement date. 

But if a student wants to go for upfront payment, then the cost of the program is 1.5 lakhs + GST (for 7 months).

The Delhi-based startup says it receives 200 applications per day for its FSGD program. It claims to have over 5,000 game developers on its discord server. And, 55,000 students have so far applied for its programme.

Mayank states that there are 100+ gaming companies in India with which the startup is tied up for hiring its candidates. 

YS Design Team

“We have 100 percent placement rate on program completion with a majority of the students getting job offers even in month 3 of the program when they haven't completed even half of the program - (FSGD) this is our secret sauce! That's why we say job guarantee or you don't pay us anything,”

"Mentors from the top gaming companies with best-in-class industry expertise train our candidates and help them score jobs in companies like Ubisoft, MPL, Gametion, Nazara, Ncore games, Jetsynthesis, Cympl studio, etc," he adds.

Market opportunities and revenue

The gaming industry has a $300 billion market size, according to a report by IT consultancy firm Accenture. 

In the final quarter of 2021, Outscal says it generated a total revenue of $150,000 from its job placement programme. And its projection for 2022 is $2 million.

Speaking of competition, Mayank says, “There is no direct competition in this space, indirect competition includes broadly from edtech platforms in the web development and data science space.”

Bootstrapped for two years, the startup has raised an undisclosed amount last year from Village Global, First Cheque, Srini Rai (cofounder Tutorvista) and many other angel investors.

Outscal plans to expand into the global markets starting with the US. The startup says it is already in talks with international game companies that are looking to hire talent remotely and also looking at establishing new offices in India.

“In the year 2022, we have started our unique offering called learn and earn, where we have made it easy and rewarding for any game dev enthusiasts to start their journey to the gaming and Web3 ecosystem for free. And on the other hand, we are aggressively expanding our B2B partnership globally, so that they can hire talent remotely from our open community,” Mayank says.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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