With the Indian online gaming industry expected exceed $200 million by 2010, it is no longer just a game. Players like Kreeda Games, Webdunia, Games2win.com and Zapak are carrying forward the industry and can compete with the best in the world today. exchange4media takes a look at where India’s online gaming industry is headed.
Kreeda Games has licensed popular game titles from around the world and will publish them in India. The company believes that for any product to succeed in the market, it would have to be suitably modified to appeal to the unique likes of Indian culture. Toward that objective, Kreeda customizes and transforms international content for the local markets.
Quentin Staes Polet, CEO, Kreeda Games, said, “We currently have thousands of players spending an average 90 minutes a day on games. The gamers span across ages and genders. As the games don’t have violence or vulgarity, they have been received very well amongst all age groups, and we do have a large number of youth and children players, with 75 per cent of the audience in the 13-25 age group. Our competitors include Zapak, Games2win, Indiagames, Yahoo, Sify and Online Mass Multiplayer Role Playing Games like Zapak, Level Up’s Ragnarok, and Sify’s A3.”
“Kreeda Games has been set up to become the top player in the online games market (non-gambling). We mainly focus on mass-multiplayer online games (MMOG), which involve playing with thousands of other people live in vast virtual worlds. Players create 3D avatars for themselves and take up professions in the game, earn in-game money, buy and sell goods, make friends, chat and take part in quests and missions. Kreeda is the only company in India with the sole focus on the MMOG market,” Polet added.
On the other hand, Webdunia is not competing with anyone in this market, neither is it competing with any of the games verticals. The company is targeting users in the 15-35 age group. The games site, currently running on a beta version, offers instructions in multiple languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam. Gamers have the option of choosing from several interesting games, which are categorised in generic sections as well as groups like memory, arcade action and funny.
Pankaj Jain, COO, Webdunia, explained, “Webdunia’s USP is very native, traditional Indian games in Indian languages. Even the user interfaces and user assistance is in Indian languages, and this combination makes us far more relevant to 800 millions Indians, who are not comfortable in any language other than their own. Webdunia properties have been getting 80 million page views every month. Webdunia games were launched about a month ago and have had a good build-up of traffic. Online gaming is increasing rapidly, though it is far from being what the offline gaming market is.”
Games2win is in the business of web-based casual games, downloadable online games and MMOGs. The company sees its biggest growth coming from markets outside India. The company currently claims to have five millions visitors a month and hopes this figure to grow to 10 million by the end of 2008. Its biggest competitor is UK-based Miniclip. Games2win mainly targets the youth and young adults.
Alok Kejriwal, CEO, Games2win, said, “We are taking these games to the largest social networking sites in the world, starting with Orkut. Games2win content has some Indian touch and is being played worldwide by an international audience. We have 122 games and every game has been made by us and not at all outsourced. We plan to add 80 more games by the end of this year.”
Games2win.com also reaches out to players in North America, Western Europe, including France and Germany, Eastern Europe, including Poland and Romania, besides India and China. By promoting community building elements on the portal, Games2win aims to create a destination for Indians to come online for ‘gamertainment’.
It was Zapak that pioneered the online gaming revolution in India by taking gaming to the masses. The company today claims to have the highest quality game catalog with over 600 games on offer. The site is designed to offer an exciting gaming experience across multiple genres, including single player, multi player, downloadable and cash games with a strong wrapper of community features making it the most comprehensive gaming portal in the world.
The Zapak Gameplex brand was created in line with the company’s vision to create the complete value chain for online gaming in India. Zapak Gameplex is the first of its kind large format, high speed broadband enabled, organised gaming café chain in the country. Zapak’s endeavour is to reach out to the youth in India to enhance their gaming skills with a fun and exciting platform for them to express themselves. Zapak Gameplex also aims to play a vital role in being a popular hangout for the youth.