Home >> Gaming is big business — the next few years will see a kinetic thrust as an explosion takes place in the industry

Gaming is big business — the next few years will see a kinetic thrust as an explosion takes place in the industry

SOURCE : My DigitalFC
18 AUG 2018

The stage is set. Like a ubiquitous launch pad, mobile power is firing the gaming industry in India, pulling at skill sets, driving the imagination and tugging at the purse strings to create a vibrant gaming industry with its very own crackling electric field. If there is one word to describe the intense on-the-edge world of gaming it is ‘nerdgasmic.’

Steven Spielberg captured it in ‘Ready Player One’, a film set in 2045 where a ravaged people in Columbus, Ohio, done in by the usual suspects, seek solace in a virtual paradise called Oasis created by a maverick. In the Oasis imagination is the only limit to the life people want to lead. For the residents of Columbus, the boundaries between the real and virtual world often get blurred. Wagers can be serious business, the film shows. People can die in the real world as they pursue success in the virtual world. The fights are in the minds — in the realm of ideas, in the field of cunning and virtual feints. Life itself becomes a chimera yet people are inexorably drawn to it.

Gaming, as the life in Oasis in Spielberg’s film, is serious business. Which is why it has success written all over it. Says Neeraj Roy, managing director and CEO at Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, an early entrant in the field, “We are seeing the emergence of ‘hyper casual’ games as well, almost akin to 15 years ago, these are very simple and very casual games with simple game play. However, they are very addictive and have been bringing very large communities onto the mobile platform.”

According to him, last year saw the breakout of VR and AR based games. With the success of Pokemon Go global publishers are looking for the next billion consumers on gaming platforms and here it is estimated that India will play a lead as our data prices are now by far the lowest in the world. E-Sports as a category is gaining traction, although India is still a relatively small market, he explains.

A report by India Intelligence & Insights on Online Gaming dated June 15 2018 says online gaming revenue is projected to grow to $1.2 billion by 2022. It adds India is now the world’s third-biggest market for mobile game installs and investment volumes are picking up from domestic, international backers and that consumer payments contribute most to revenue, ads.

Roy does some impromptu hardsell of his own as he describes gaming to be highly scientific. “We have psychologists, neuroscientists and very high skilled professionals monitoring games we create. Because one big game can fetch a billion dollars and the industry has really evolved worldwide.”

Poker star
Ace poker player Muskan Sethi was honoured by the President on Republic Day for her contribution to skill games. She is the first female poker player of India. The event saw Muskan amid an august gathering of about 100 Indian women, who have attained high levels of success in various realms. To date, she has won $114,589 in cash online, and is currently ranked 28 among India’s poker players. She has also won $44,310 in live tournaments. The Global Poker League has, naturally, recognised her as a rising star.

For Muskan, Poker is strictly a skill game that requires strong strategic acumen, dedication and discipline. “I recommend poker as a hobby and as a stress reliever for sharp minds. If you want to take it up as a profession then proper training and planning is required. One can study the tricks online but poker demands more than just eight hours a day with no fixed timings, which is a bit more unhealthy and exhausting than a regular job. However, a professional poker player is his or her own boss. Just as with any profession, you have to master the art of patience and timed aggression and look for maximum return on investment with minimum risk,” she says.

According to her self-regulation is very important for every poker player in the world. ‘Bankroll Management’ is the backbone of a Poker career, she explains, adding, “Difficulties are all part of the journey but staying balanced and in control is the key to survival. Responsible gaming to me is staying within the means of your “roll”. If you find yourself addicted to the game, which is the case for all of us on different levels, then putting restrictions on your gameplay & buy-ins will help you stick to the stakes that suit you the best.”

For her to stay balanced, Poker players need to put in a lot of volume to increase the chances to beat the variance and aim for maximum returns for a minimum investment.

“I like to be very strict with my finances and pursue poker as a mind sport rather than a source of making money,” Muskan says.

Poker players often have to convince others that lessons learned at the table can actually translate to useful life skills. Recently, Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson announced the forming of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society, an organisation that “views poker as a game of skill that can be used as a teaching tool at all levels of academia and in secondary education.”

Poker as metaphor
Nesson feels Poker is one of the best metaphors for teaching life skills across a variety of disciplines. In 1981, he wrote a programme on his home computer that could play five-card stud. Its what made others sit up and take notice of him. The society aims to offer workshops and seminars to secondary schools and community centres, using poker as a means of developing strategic thinking skills to underprivileged neighbourhoods. He also hopes to sponsor team poker matches between law, business and other graduate-level programs, and conduct seminars and conferences that explore poker as a means to teach strategic thinking and related public-policy issues. That’s just a trailer about the advancement of the game.

It only proves the level of neuropsychological advancement gaming can have on our minds. It is important to note that gaming is divided in three groups – console gaming like Nintendo, casual in app games that one downloads and plays on smartphones like Candy Crush and real money online games or RMG like Poker, Fantasy and Rummy.

Globally, over the last few years, the gaming industry has seen free-to-play or F2P hit the mainstream. Tablet and smartphone games have come into the ascendant and we’ve seen Facebook and other social media gaming rise and fall.

A recent report from Deloitte says the casual gaming market size in India will reach Rs 5,000 crore by the end of the year with a 20 per cent growth. It reiterates that smartphone proliferation in India is the key to growth. In fact, as per IDC report, smartphone sales in India in 2017 was 124 million.

Jehil Thakkar, Partner with Deloitte India says console gaming has big potential. He sees good growth in mobile and online gaming. According to him PC gaming is on the decline. But, he complains, advertising or in-app purchases are very low in India, which has been a roadblock in the growth of gaming in the country.

Unfortunately the market in India hasn’t matured much despite good mobile phone penetration. If the entire industry in India is worth a billion dollars, in the US a single 30-minute real money game fetches that kind of amount as prize money, say experts.

Industry players are still sceptical about investing big money in India, simply because the demand doesn’t match, complains Ankush Gera, founder of Junglee, which launched Rummy Premier League (RPL) to the tune of cricket’s biggest annual fest – IPL, attracting lots of big prizes.

Public offer
The India Intelligence & Insights report says the industry, already benefiting from increasingly robust broadband and payment infrastructure, is set to hit the mainstream with lead incumbent Nazara’s $154 million public offer taking place this year. Nazara runs gaming subscription services across, Asia, West Asia, Latin America covering over 60 countries. Its move to go public, say experts, should pique more interest from institutional investors, which have already started to place early-stage bets. At the same time, there has been a rise in interest from global strategists with Chinese internet major Tencent hiring senior executives to lead its India foray and Alibaba entering the market through Paytm. Projections show the gaming sector expanding from a $400 million industry in 2017 to a $1.2 billion revenue opportunity by 2022, a 32 per cent CAGR.

For Ankur Dewani, CEO of Sachiko Gaming, which has the India rights to operate PokerStars, the largest Poker league, gaming in general has seen amazing growth over the last few years. “Everything from casual games, video games, local titles, e-sports and games of skill have experienced exposure to new audiences and a wider acceptance. Over the next few years we hope to see an even bigger rise in eSports and games of skill such as poker, rummy and fantasy sports,” he says.

A Google KPMG report says an average casual gamer spends 7-10 per cent of mobile time on games. The research notes that gamers play across genres like sports, arcade, puzzle, action, racing or strategy. Chinese biggies Alibaba, PayTM, Tencent, Youzu, etc are tying up with the game developers.

For Roland Landers CEO of All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), the apex industry body for the skill gaming in India, although India is at a nascent stage as far as gaming volumes are concerned, with data getting cheaper there will be more penetration.

Raj Kundra-led Viaan Industries, which launched the ‘Match Indian Poker League’ last year, has taken the league format to the online platform. According to him, while poker has been accepted in Kolkata and Bangalore as games of skill, Gujarat or Telangana are yet to accept the game. Gaming commission is yet to be decided. The older generation has an issue. “We promote sports Poker. World Poker has a prize money of $8.8 million which is serious money. In India we are trying to educate people in clubs to play poker and initiate an interest. We are flying down professionals to train and evoke an interest in the game,” Kundra says.

For Poker Adda 52 co-founder and CEO Mohit Agarwal, the RMG space has shown great success in terms of monetisation in India. “We are seeing more category of RMG like Trivia quizzing on the lines of HQ Trivia. We are seeing many more companies offering products in the RMG space,” he claims.

Trends
The emerging industry trends are varied and interesting.

Fantasy leader Match Kings CEO Sunil Krishnamurthy feels eSports is the biggest entrant and it is taking off in a very big way. There has been enough recognition for it in India and it definitely stands independently from gambling. Cobx Gaming has been mentioned in the Law Commission report and they are taking steps in the right direction.

He further explains how cryptocurrency also has got well entrenched in this space and after the RBI directive, it is going to take some time before this will be recognised or allowed. Blockchain technology, though, has caught up. “These are well recommended in the Law Commission Report,” he says, adding: “Social games are also on the rise and there is a lot of effort that is being put in on cross-linking real money and social gaming.”

Experts feel eSports should emerge as a spectator sport in India drawing significant eyeballs from TV and digital audiences. Moreover, this would also facilitate grassroots development and online as well as offline gaming communities. Another emerging format is in-game native ads that blend with the environment of the game in case of casual in-app games.

Commercially, native ad deals are fixed fee in nature, ranging between Rs 2.5-10 million, depending on the gaming IP. Typically, domestic publishers can deliver a better return on investment by bringing in a local context, say experts. Moreover, domestic games companies are gaining ground by bringing in an element of localisation, which can drive reach and engagement.

99Games, for instance, has been creating games by licensing IP from popular Bollywood movies. Similarly, Nazara has acquired cricket IP, cementing deals with Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Moonfrog and Gamotronix have seen some success by developing games based on popular Indian indoor games such as Teen Patti, Rummy and Ludo – a simpler version of the historical Indian game Pachisi.

Fantasy sports services, where players select real players to create their own teams, have also made meaningful gains over the last 18 months. Indian fantasy league pioneer Dream11 registered an average of 2.5 million daily active users and 6-7 million monthly active users during the 2018 edition of IPL. Encouraged by the rising uptake of fantasy sports, international players such as UK-based Starpick have forayed into India, unveiling a local service in May. With a host of domestic start-ups also emerging over the last two years, there are now 60 fantasy league operators in India.

Casual gaming business model
In social casual gaming, revenues mainly come from app purchases. For Candy Crush, and other ads revenue brings in money to gaming platform or inapp purchases or native ads.

Leading casual games come in varied genres and register high daily active use, allowing advertisers to target specific demos. In particular, puzzle-based, sports-based and endless runner games such as Candy Crush Saga, 8 Ball Pool and Subway Surfers respectively, have done well to monetise from different ad formats. In contrast, ad opportunities are limited in a real-time strategy (RTS) game such as Clash of Clans, as any ad insertions during game play can hamper the user experience.

Hungama Games have done several in-game native ad placements for movies as also sports like cricket. The results have been very encouraging as the advertiser can get a disproportionate return if the game becomes popular and is played 100s of times, says Neeraj Roy.

Research reports show how ad formats for online games have evolved from traditional banners, which are still popular, to rich full-screen ads – known as interstitials – and reward-based videos. CPMs (cost per thousand) for standard banners range between Rs 40 and Rs 100 while CPMs for more immersive interstitials range between Rs 150 and Rs 250. In recent years, reward-based video ads, which viewers are incentivised to watch in exchange for a virtual game currency, have gained popularity. Unlike other ad formats, reward-based video ads are sold on a cost per completed view (CPCV) with the industry average being Rs0.4-0.5 per view.

RMG business model
Real money gaming companies tend to operate on a service fee model, retaining a portion of the entry fee (typically 5-15 per cent) while distributing the rest as winnings. RMG platforms also host free tournaments and events to bolster traffic. As such, only 8-10 per cent of daily active users are paying users. Given the limited spends on marketing, leading RMG players are profitable, typically operating with Ebitda margins of 35 per cent and above. RMG incumbents also need to maintain a robust back-end infrastructure, particularly on the payments side, although most companies are generating enough cash to fund their capital requirements.

According to Roland Lander, AIGF CEO revenues come from subscription. People pay to play and there are wallets.

Leading RMG incumbents are also collaborating with the AIGF, a gaming industry apex body promoting self-regulation among RMG stakeholders in India. Established in 2016, AIGF has worked with policy makers to promote the economic benefits of a well-developed gaming ecosystem. It has organised a number of conferences and events, discussing key topics such as advertising content standards, taxation and capital investment. Commission from the game that is being played is the typical revenue model for all operators in the skill vertical. It varies in percentage across the products that are being offered. Most of this is achieved by getting players to make deposits and get them to play the games, on offer. In social games, it is more through sponsorship and advertisements. Affiliates also play a big role and there are many who have adopted the latest technologies and are providing the right traction to the operators with organic database suited for this offering.

Role of AIGF
AIGF has launched charters for online poker, online rummy and fantasy sports, covering aspects such as transparency and fair play, enhanced player protection, good governance and operator accountability. It also intends to conduct annual third party audits on its members to determine compliance. An expert committee, comprising professionals with judiciary, law and order, finance, academics, medicine and data backgrounds, has been formed to advise AIGF’s skill games board. AIGF is also pushing for relaxed FDI in gaming while seeking central legalisation to open the doors for online betting in India.

Meanwhile, India’s nascent eSports industry is also attracting investment from credible strategics such as UCypher, Nazara and COBX Gaming, which should help accelerate sector growth. Gaming tech stakeholders such as Nvidia and Acer are also doing their bit by organising and sponsoring gaming and eSports tournaments across the country. According to Nvidia, the number of monthly active users in Indian eSports has risen from 0.3 million in 2014 to 1.5 million in 2017, says Roland.

Investor interest
According to the India Intelligence report, online gaming’s long-term Indian opportunity is attracting international and domestic capital, with activity picking up over the last 12 months. Alibaba-backed AGTech, which specialises in online lotteries, entered the fray with Indian fintech associate Paytm in early 2018 with the launch of Gamepind, a mobile gaming platform. Alibaba rival Tencent, which pumped $115 million into Indian music streaming service Gaana in February 2018, is also eying a foray into Indian gaming this year with an initial investment of $200 million spread across game development and publishing, mainly for casual games, as well as marketing, executive hires and potential acquisition. In the near-to-medium term, Chinese internet majors will continue to test the waters in India’s burgeoning casual gaming segment.

Regarding Nazara’s plans for $154 million IPO this year, the company received backing from asset management firm IIFL and veteran investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala in the latter half of 2017. There were also several deals in the RMG space in 2017. Private equity firm Clairvest Group bought a majority stake in online rummy platform Ace2Three, while domestic casino gaming incumbent Delta Corp completed its acquisition of Gauss Networks, the company behind online poker leader Adda52. Fantasy league start-up HalaPlay also raised seed capital from Kae Capital and Nazara. Meanwhile, fantasy sports market leader Dream11 is rumoured to be in talks with Tencent over a potential $100 million infusion.

Challenges
Poker player Muskan feels despite a great experience so far there are a large number of problems that can leave a player with a bad user experience. The most common reason why it’s not taken as seriously is because we have never heard of a company getting strictly or barely penalised for defaulting their customers in the gaming industry.

“When a gaming start-up enters the market it’s important that it’s driven by a passionate group of professionals who have the same vision and respect for the game. I really think that after receiving an approved gaming license every operator in our country should be directed to a common regulatory body such as AIGF that can regularly monitor their operations and help them reach their goals and overall look out for the vulnerable player pool and make sure they get transparency along with a friendly user experience,” she says.

As per the survey, Indian mobile game players rank third in the world when the user retention for a 14 days period is seen. The non-organic app retention rates are at 6.3 per cent closely followed by Germany at 6.4 per cent and the UK at 6.8 per cent. What’s seen in this recent research done by AppsFlyer is that the gaming sector is ready to compete with the developed gaming segments of the world.

However, monetisation for a broader set of publishers is still the biggest challenge as most markets do not have the combined ability to enable In Game purchase and are largely dependent on constantly declining advertising yields, says Neeraj Roy. “Game discovery continues to be a big challenge, particularly for independent publishers as app stores are very cluttered,” he adds.

Ankur Dewani feels it is a tough task to educate people in a conservative culture that Poker is different from other card games. Despite that, there has been a fair amount of interest and acceptance in the country. Globally Poker has seen interest and participation from world leaders, athletes, businessmen and artists and is recognised as a mind sport and a game of skill. Be it a gathering of friends or the biggest poker tournament in the world, the game has always been an equaliser because it doesn’t matter what your background is, male or female, rich or poor you are, only your skill matters, he points out.

A large percentage of the early adaptors of Poker in India are engineers, doctors, finance professionals, businessmen and mathematicians. Perception is a challenge as people have a hard time defining games of skill vs gambling, feel experts. “We are trying to change the perception to responsible gaming, how we advertise, how we build credibility not just with our players but for someone who is looking at it from a government’s point of view, social or moral point of view,” says Gera, adding: “What I found is that Indians do not monetise games. We monetise everything – from perfumes, movies, but gaming is an exception.”

Part of the reason, he says, has been the lack of quality content. The games that were published six years ago were lower than the 2 per cent published in the US. While gaming is the hottest business that require data scientists and neuroscientists, people were making low quality games and hoping and praying they would work.

That inspired Junglee to enter India in 2012. The overall gaming industry in India was barely Rs 100 crore. Today the business may be over Rs 1200 crore with five or six companies driving growth.

“There’s one thing about tapping into the unknown potential and there’s another thing about the skepticism if a localised game will do well or fetch only Rs 50 crore a year. Is that a giant waste of their time?” asks Gera.

Roy agrees that gaming has not taken off like music or video streaming in India. However, this is rapidly changing, he says as India is now the second largest smartphone market in the world and with data prices being as low as Rs. 49 for 30GB of data, gaming as a category is on the rise. “I envisage over 500 million active gaming community in India by 2025. When you compare the size of our market with over a billion mobile phone users, nearly 500 million smart phone users, the commercial value of the gaming industry is very small compared to Korea, Japan, China and even some smaller countries in Europe. Hence the global players haven’t really made any big bet here. However, this is changing very rapidly and you will see this market emerge into a significant gaming nation in the next three or four years.”

Many companies are investing. Several of the RMG players have big venture capitalists backing them. “Today 70 per cent of the revenues are from RMG and 30 per cent would be from casual games. I am excluding VAS, which is a dying business – may be a few hundred crore but on a decline,” says Gera. Junglee itself has funded many start-ups.

Perception & regulation
Many operators in India feel perception is a challenge. People have a hard time defining games of skill vs gambling. “We are trying to change the perception to responsible gaming, how we advertise, how we build credibility not just with our players but for someone who is looking at it from a government’s point of view, social or moral point of view,” says Gera.

Most companies operating in India are trying to self regulate by becoming members of AIGF. This in turn benefits the players because they can differentiate between the responsible gaming provider and improves trust in the ecosystem.

Agarwal feels a broader set of games being offered is also helping perception. “Formation of leagues such as Poker Sports League where city based franchises battle it out for prizes and glory further adds another dimension to improve the perception of the industry,” he says.

In a study carried out by the computer scientist Roman Yampolskiy, it is concluded that Poker is a game that requires a specific set of skills and some of those skills include the ability to precisely calculate probability of a needed card coming on a turn; the skill to read opponents’ behaviour and body language; and the competence to apply strategic concepts such as “semi-bluffing and playing for implied odds”.

India is very clear on games of chance and games of skill. India is at par with global definition that every game has a little element of chance. If it is predominantly of skill then it is a game of skill.

Neeraj feels regulation is limited but is being actively discussed as far as eSports gaming is concerned. This is on account of the size of winnings involved and its ever-gaining popularity.

As Krishnamurthy notes, India has a lot of gamers and this is in both eSports and online gaming. “We have a lot of participants who are winning bracelets in WSOP (World Series of Poker). We also have a professor in IIM, who runs an elective course in Poker. These would ideally help the students in developing their faculties in terms of strategy, thought process and such. This has been effectively used overseas as well in eminent institutes like Harvard.”

He strongly believes games change perceptions and our actions. More so because you have to play within the ambit of the terms and conditions laid out by the game and they are more persuasive. It is a very common notion that many ignore, viewers watch and players do.

After a host of investments that are happening in the industry, it also serves as a model for a lot of players to get going on gaming. There are students from premier institutes who have taken to games like poker, fantasy and rummy which are all skill based and have excelled in those spaces.

“In my view, the perception related to RMG is changing a lot in India and players are also being subjected to many different products also from established business houses. This helps in communicating the right message to the audience and they are all now talking about greater participation,” Krishnamurthy explains.

For him, the major impact to this is the penetration of mobile telephony and also with the advent of state-of-art technology, which has allowed operators to market the product effectively to the masses. Education on the perception also using this route has been achieved to a great extent.

The Rummy Federation (TRF) launched by the online gaming industry in Delhi, aims to utilise the individual learnings of the various companies in the industry and proactively adopt state-of-the-art practices from Western countries, where the industry is regulated.

To tackle perception and regulation, the top six rummy companies in the country – Rummy Circle, H23, Classic Rummy, Junglee Rummy, Passion Rummy and Deccan Rummy – have come together to help regulate the market and protect both the company and the players through the Rummy Federation.

Krishnamurthy stresses on the need for regulation and proper framework to address all issues pertaining to gaming. AIGF has also taken a role aggressively to implement skill charters for its members and this is more on spreading awareness to the masses about compliance, integrity and responsible gaming.

Dewani says, most of the gaming related laws were formed decades ago and have not evolved or kept up with the real growth, especially when it comes to the realm of online. The good bit however is that even then, these laws specifically carved out games of skill from the Gambling Act, and recognised that games like bridge, chess, rummy and poker are different and deserve appropriate treatment. Most states have been adopted these laws without change.

“West Bengal, Karnataka, Nagaland and a few others have specifically recognised Poker as a game of skill and we hope more will follow. But it would surely help if there was a central regulation or guidelines to ensure a smoother operating environment, which in turn leads to greater awareness and safety among players,” he adds.

Agarwal said the recent law commission report highlighted the need for regulating games of skill as well. “This should be a welcome move. Till that happens the larger operators are continuing to deploy best practices and self regulate to improve trust in the eco system. Since all transactions happen online and the games are available for review, the system is fairly transparent,” he says.

Virtual Zone

PokerStars
PokerStars, present in India through Sachiko Gaming, is the largest online poker site, controlling over two-thirds of the total online poker market, owned by The Stars Group. A PokerStars.com online satellite tournament produced the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion, Chris Moneymaker. As the first person to become a world champion by qualifying at an online poker site, Moneymaker’s 2003 win was an important factor in catalysing the poker boom of the mid-2000s- often called the ‘Moneymaker effect’.

Dream11
Offering fantasy sports like football, cricket, basketball and kabaddi, Dream11 is the mobile-first company that has captured the user’s attention. The company boasts of over 20 million users and is expected to grow to 100 million by 2020.

99Games
Standing strong in the world of casual games is 99Games, the company founded in 2008. It is amongst India’s most prominent mobile game developers. One of the most popular games by this company is the iOS based WordsWorth that is a global hit. 99Games then further entered the ‘freemium’ model and launched many profitable games like Dream Star. In 2013, the company got a contract with YRF Studios and have made games like Dhoom3, Fan and Sultan. Two games that are worth a mention is the SpellUp and the Star Chef. The company continues to release new and popular casual games for hand held devices.

RummyCircle
RummyCircle is an online rummy games platform, owned and operated by Play Games24x7. The company brings an online desktop and mobile gaming platform, offering real cash rummy games to its users. Backed by a strong technical support team, seamless payment gateways and engaging user interface, Play Games24x7 launched RummyCircle in 2012. Before that RummyCircle was a part of Play Games24x7. The company has seen investment from the Tiger Global Management, a leading hedge fund manager. Play Games24x7 launched Rummy on RummyCircle and Teen Patti, Rummy, Poker and Bet Cricket under Ultimate Games banner.

JungleeRummy
JungleeRummy recently launched Rummy Premier League (RPL) to the tune of cricket IPL. JungleeRummy.com offers gaming experience to play online rummy games with real players in the most enhanced multiplayer gaming environment. It is built on a secured platform for a seamless 24×7 gaming experience.

Games2Win
This is a Mumbai-based startup that was founded in 2005. The company offers in-game ad networks and social networks for games, along with developing traditional mobile game platforms. The company has a range of games that are spread across the biggest app stores including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

Octro
Octro is a popular game when it comes to freemium games like Teen Patti, Indian Rummy and Tambola Housie. A Delhi-based start-up, it was founded in 2006. The company started off as creating productivity applications for mobile devices but later moved on to different entertainment games.

Nazara Technologies
One of the biggest names when it comes to online mobile games is Nazara Technologies. Founded in 2000, this sports start-up has raked in $10.3 million in profits ever since. It boasts of operations in 61 countries and has over 10 million active monthly users. The company also has mobile gaming rights for IPs like the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Hrithik Roshan, Virat Kohli and Chhota Bheem among others.

Hungama Digital Media Entertainment
Much before smartphones and ecommerce came of age in India, Hungama Digital Entertainment was betting on its digital entertainment and marketing business, then called Virtual Marketing India. One of the early entrants in casual gaming, ‘gamification’ is a big draw at Hungama.

Twitter Share on Google+