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India Inc bets big on casual gaming

business Updated: Dec 24, 2007 22:34 IST
Venkatesh Ganesh
Venkatesh Ganesh
Hindustan Times
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Indian companies are being increasingly drawn towards casual gaming companies, both online and offline, which they feel are potential goldmines.

For example, FXLabs Studios, India’s leading developer of video games, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Interactive Media Technology, Inc, a US-based company that owns knibble.com, one of the world’s largest online casual games portals.

Knibble has a portfolio of over 10,000 games over multiple platforms. Similarly, Mumbai-based mobile and PC gaming company Indiagames, where UTV holds a 62.42 per cent stake, has tied up with Level Up, a Massively Mutliplayer Online Role Game’s Company (MMORPG), to launch its popular online games, Ragnarok and Gunz.

MMORPG allows many players to play games simultaneously over the Internet. “This genre of gamers constitutes those who play for the sake of having fun or for a quick break,” says Rohit Sharma of Zapak.com.

Gaming industry experts say Indian companies are looking for an end-to-end play. Right from bringing games to the masses to developing new games and rating them. They want to make gaming possible from the iPhone, Nintendo Wii console and other gaming platforms.

Sashi Reddi, founder and chairman of FXLabs, said: “With the acquisition of Knibble, we have expanded our capability from being a game developer to a company that will directly deliver the game experience to consumers globally. We are optimistic about emerging markets like India driving worldwide online game revenues.”

An IMRB report says India currently has 2.8 million gamers who indulge in casual gaming, which is miniscule compared to countries like Japan, Korea and the US that have in excess of 50 million gamers. However, 40 per cent of India’s youth are potential gamers, wherein lies the opportunity.