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East India Company returns, as a game now

Brace yourself. You may just be under attack from the East India Company all over again. And this time it’s not the naval bases that need to be protected; it’s the virtual world. Ruchira Hoon reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2009 01:58 IST
Ruchira Hoon

Brace yourself. You may just be under attack from the East India Company all over again. And this time it’s not the naval bases that need to be protected; it’s the virtual world.

Finnish company Nitrogames has recently launched a real-time strategy game based on the East India Company’s conquest of South Asia.

The game named East India Company is a crash course in naval combat, plundering and conquest. It introduces players to a dark and mysterious world where you must forge allegiances to make fortune and destroy others around you. Much like what happened to India in the 17th century.

Lead designer Kim Soares called the game a first of its kind since it’s a combination of trading and war games. “The tactical battles are all real-time whether on the fleets or on land. You can buy people and ammunition,” he said. “But the third dimension to this game is of diplomacy, where you can just bring people to your side without destruction.”

This game, which can be played both in the single player and multi-player mode, was launched in August.

While publisher Paradox is still under talks with gaming companies in India, the game can be downloaded from gamersgate.com.

So what does it mean for gamers here in India? “Obviously the history of the East India Company would be great material for a strategy game. Nonetheless it’s going to be great to see people revisit history this way,” says gaming expert Arvind Srivastava.