Dhruva Interactive, the Bangalore-based gaming company, is coming out with a new multi-player gaming experience on the Net called Pool-On-The-Net. “While the beta version is ready for launch, the final improved version will be out in the first half of next year,” said Rajesh Rao, CEO, Dhruva Interactive.
Essentially a paid model, the game is touted as the first multiplayer game made keeping Indian audiences in mind. “The game may be allowed for a free trial for 10 to 20 days, but the business model is pay-and-play and subscription based. One can access it at a cyber café or through a PC with Internet connection. But it won’t be available in CDs,” Rao said.
The pool allows gamers to personlise and create one’s own gaming room. It supports webcam so that gamers can see each other while playing and chat as well. Not only that, one can also record the super shots and send it out to friends or submit them for online competitions.
But have not we seen some of these features at Yahoo Games? Rao disagreed, “Pool-On-The-Net is completely different from Yahoo Gaming, which is browser based. Ours is a full-fledged Internet-based gaming application where people can create individual pool rooms for a personalised experience. It is very casual and easy to learn. It is part of our new strategy to emphasise on community-based gaming.”
Though Rao said that the final pricing was yet to be worked out, he maintained that it would be keeping in mind the affordability factor. But is India ready for such a business model? Said Rao, “Someone some day has to take the first step. To be successful in this field, I think the pricing has to be just right.”
Looking at the bigger picture, Rao felt, “India is set for explosive growth of broadband connectivity. Penetration of the Internet will get momentum with cheaper broadband connection and sub-Rs 10,000 PCs arriving at the market. The recent BSNL plan where it has tied up with PC makers for a PC and Internet connection at just Rs 500 could spur the growth. This, I think, is an ideal time for giving a boost to the gaming market in India.”