CEO | 20 Sep 2004
As part of our strategy, we have now acquired worldwide rights to properties like The Day After Tomorrow, Garfield, Buffy and, most recently, Bruce Lee. Products like Spiderman and Bruce Lee which have a global fan following are what Indiagames takes to the market and very easily finds millions of customers all over the world, thanks to the product quality and extensive branding.
Indiagames, a leading mobile content developer, has recently signed a deal with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group to offer martial arts icon Bruce Lee on mobile phones. The venture is expected to be a big hit. The group has also got a licence for a new item, ‘King of Bollywood’. Vishal Gondal, CEO of Indiagames, sounds optimistic about the potential of the mobile gaming industry. As he estimates, the global interactive entertainment industry is poised to reach $ 7 billion in the next three years. Over a tête-à-tête with Malini Menon of exchange4media, Gondal speaks on the company’s latest initiatives, shares his views on the potential market and the gaming platform that the group is planning to enter on a global scale.
Q. You are the first to venture into the international territory. How are you planning to promote the gaming platform in China, Korea and the US?
Indiagames has been in the international mobile gaming space for over two years. We currently have over 70 mobile operator relations worldwide and sell our product in every major market. The big foray for Indiagames started last year when it acquired the rights for Spiderman and released it worldwide on all platforms and in languages like English, French, Italian, Czech, Hebrew, Spanish, German, etc. In continuing our strategy we have now acquired worldwide rights to properties like The Day After Tomorrow, Garfield, Buffy and, most recently, Bruce Lee. Products like Spiderman and Bruce Lee which have a global fan following are what Indiagames takes to the market and very easily finds millions of customers all over the world, thanks to the product quality and extensive branding.
Q. Are you planning to have joint venture partners or do you want to have your own set-up internationally?
In certain key markets in the US and Europe, Indiagames has its own set-up and direct relationships with mobile operators. But we prefer the route of partnership in markets where there are very heavy localisation requirements. Therefore, currently we have partners in China, Korea and Japan. But our direct partners are in the US, Europe and in the rest of Asia.
Q. Is Indiagames sharing its software codes with other manufacturers to develop gaming platforms?
Indiagames uses market technology like BREW, J2ME, I-Mode, etc., for the development of its products. But at the same time, it has certain proprietary technologies which it uses to provide a very high consumer experience. Currently we are not planning to license this technology to any third parties.
Q. What other gaming products has Indiagames launched nationally and internationally?
We have launched products like The Day After Tomorrow, Hulk, Van Helsing, Spiderman, Buffy, Garfield. At the same time, we have developed games like Lion King for Disney. Apart from the branded offerings, Indiagames also has over 40 of its own branded products.
Q. What was the reason for introducing Bruce Lee to mobile handsets?
Bruce Lee is probably the most recognised martial arts figure in the world. As a martial arts icon, he fits in well with the action-packed gaming platform that we are offering, and we believe that now is the time to bring this franchise to mobile phones. Indiagames, with its development and worldwide distribution strengths, is best planned to get this brand to mobile phones across the world.
Q. Which mobile manufacturers are you tying up with?
All major mobile players in the market.
Q. Are you going to organise gaming events? How are you going to promote Indiagames?
We are coming up with a World Cyber Games contest in association with Samsung India. This will be held in 12 Indian cities, which would include metros and mini metros. Nine finalists from each city would come down to Mumbai for the grand Indian finale. Then the winner would compete with other foreign finalists. It is on the same lines as the Cyber Olympics. We are planning to advertise it through the main media and cyber channels.