Starting from telephones to cellular phones – technology has traversed a long way. Further innovation in this nook seems to be the in-thing. Today, handsets are not just restricted to be a communication device but have gone steps ahead into being entertainment gadgets.
Multimedia mobile phone penetration touches 49 per cent, globally. Further to this, entertainment services including pictures, ringtones and games have reached penetration rates of 30-35 per cent.
Coruscant Tec, providing a range of mobile solutions covering mobile business applications, mobile entertainment, mobile marketing and mobile commerce, is one company active in this area.
On being asked about their recent tie-up to offer casino games on mobiles, Probir Roy, Director, Coruscant Tec, said, “ADLM is pioneer in online casino gaming business. Now they are taking the same games to the mobile platform. Our tie-up is to develop the games in India and give to ADLM for worldwide distribution.”
Elaborating further, he added, “Blackjack is a popular game and will be launched worldwide in January 2005 through operators. The next two games we are looking at to develop are Poker and Mahjong. We are also considering several other content acquisition games in the entertainment space. It is a limited market but worldwide mobile and Internet entertainment is driven a lot by casino games.”
The downloadable games will be available from anywhere between Rs 49 to Rs 99. Speaking about the marketing initiatives, Roy said, “Operators will set a WAP push apart from newspaper ads etc to drive awareness. In addition, this is the first time the world blackjack championship is going to take place where the person scoring highest in a particular month wins $ 10,000. The incentive to win is pretty high.”
This is not the only initiative by the company. Recently, in an exclusive tie-up with Airtel, Coruscant Tec is offering its users MF Hussain paintings, downloadable for Rs 15 and Rs 30. “We had a positive response. There were 7,000 downloads in the first few days itself. The product just needs to be popularised by the operator and marketed accordingly. Being premium content, it is also a good revenue driver for operators”, said Roy.
Mobile entertainment is a small but growing area – especially multimedia entertainment. In India, it is estimated to become a $ 1-billion industry by 2009. Worldwide, this area is estimated to grow to $ 11 billion in less than three years. Hence, the fact remains, be it sports, news or games, these days, mobile entertainment is the key driver in mobile space.