Top gaming guru Vishal Gondal explains why he's first over the line
GLOBAL – Top gamers UTV Indiagames, part of The Walt Disney Company, is the first developer to achieve more the 100million downloads in the Nokia store, with popular titles including Ra.One Genesis and IPL Cricket Fever.
Founder, and CEO, Vishal Gondal says developing markets are going mad for exciting localised content, made easily accessible on Nokia platforms.
Gondal has a long relationship with Nokia, and is now looking forward to launching Indiagames on Windows Phone:
“Windows Phone is a mature platform for developers. It offers a very different experience for users, and that’s why although we’re adapting some of our existing games, we’re also developing new games from the ground up.”
Indiagames’ hallmark action and sports franchises will be available in the Marketplace soon.
Gondal was a teenage gaming prodigy who started Indiagames back in 1999 in an eastern Mumbai suburb. For a few years the start-up struggled, but business took off after the company acquired the worldwide rights for Spiderman in 2003. Gondal is now the Head of Disney Interactive Media Group India, after Disney bought Indiagames last year. He says there are three factors responsible for the explosion of gaming in India:
“The Nokia Store experience is very easy to use now, so people can find great content.”
And that content appeals to far more than the usual gamers, according to Gondal, who says everyone, including housewives and grandmothers, are downloading his games.
“This where you really see how localised content is appealing. These are new users, and they are spread out across India in smaller cities and towns, and they’re responsible for 1/5 million downloads a day of games like Ra.One and Cricket.”
Action and cricket games are crucial in India, whereas pub games like darts do well in the UK, or baseball games in the U.S.
Using Nokia’s Series 40 phones, and the new Asha range, Indian users can get a much better gaming experience: “Users can upload their scores onto Facebook using these phones, and hundreds of thousands of people are doing this. These phones are getting smarter and smarter, and you can’t call really call them feature phones anymore.”
Vishal Gondal believes the final factor in Indiagames hitting 100 million downloads is the development of the Nokia ecosystem, and the support Nokia gives to developers.
“Nokia has done a lot to grow the eco-system, and here in India that’s very important. We’ve had a relationship with Nokia stretching back to 2003, and the company has given us tremendous support and interaction. Even Stephen Elop has emailed to say he’s excited about hitting 100 million downloads.”
Marco Argenti, Nokia’s head of developer, agrees: “UTV Indiagames have a set a new industry benchmark for developers achieving success through a hyper local approach. Vishal and his team have brilliantly focused on creating great, locally relevant games, and optimizing the global business opportunities available with Nokia through distribution, local merchandizing and monetization tools.”
Partnership with Disney will bring even more entertainment franchises to the Indiagames line-up, Gondal says. He couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the future:
“We’re excited about 100 million downloads, and we’re very looking forward to developing on Windows Phone. Now get ready for one billion downloads.”