Games2win.com India Pvt Ltd, which has just sealed a deal to buy a Delhi-based casual games studio Backyard Game FactorRy Pvt Ltd, is looking to acquire around three more game companies, by the end of this year, a top company executive told Techcircle.in.
"These companies would be mobile gaming startups with a team of 5-50 people," said Alok Kejriwal, CEO and co-founder of Games2win.
It is eyeing companies in south India, specifically in Chennai and Hyderabad.
Headquartered in Mumbai, with a presence in San Francisco, Games2win was started by Kejriwal and Mahesh Khambadkone (COO). The company currently has a 105-strong team and with the acquisitions this year, it will bring 30 more people on board, including five senior executives.
Kejriwal did not share revenue numbers but said the company is marking 50 per cent revenue growth per year and has reached 75 per cent of break-even point and will achieve full break-even around October this year. "The number of consumers on our platform or those who have downloaded our games has increased to 30 million this year from 30 in 2007," according to Kejriwal.
Kejriwal talked to Techcircle.in about his views on the gaming market and Games2win's expansion plans. Edited excerpts:
What is the gap Games2win is trying to fill with acquisitions?
We are looking forward for bringing in talent. We will bring VAS (value added services) experts on board as we are going to focus on mobile now. Also, it is hard to find talent in India; those who have it have started their own companies. We need acquire companies to get more talent.
What type of games you are planning to develop?
We are looking at casual games. We are not looking at complicated games or 3D games at all.
How do you see the state of local gaming firms? Is it time for consolidation with smaller firms selling out or shutting down?
Nobody is going to shut down; everyone is going to sustain in the gaming business. However, ups and downs are there as it is a service industry. Also, world is going towards mobile and PCs are going towards tablets; this is a large tsunami which is coming. If you are afloat in this tsunami, you will fly. Moreover, India needs 100 more entrepreneurs in the gaming industry. The sector is booming but it is equally difficult; unlike e-commerce, it is not lazy and sexy.
How is revenue sharing for games on key platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry?
There are two business models—one is consumer revenues and other is advertising revenues. The largest chunk of consumer revenues is coming from US and platforms like iOS and Amazon's Kindle. Till January this year, we had 10 per cent consumer revenues and 90 per cent advertising; in May, we closed with 50 per cent from each of the segments.
Which gaming genre is seeing better traction?
Market keeps on surprising the industry. Games with micro strategies works better. Simply put, people like games which are quick and games that take them to the next level easily as they are playing games while travelling and sitting idle; such games have better micro strategies. In terms of genres, kids and family games, racing and puzzle categories are gaining traction.
What do you feel about revenue models in online gaming? Is there any scope for subscription-based gaming service against ad-supported online gaming or paid games on mobile?
There is no scope for a subscription-based gaming service as it does not work at all. If somebody says it works, it is a lie.
What is your take on Zynga's status? What is the lesson for Indian gaming firms?
Zynga is a pioneer and people have respect for them. Zynga is going to lead some part of gaming for sure, but not social games as social games as a trend has lost sheen. The concept of social media gaming is not gaming but 'faking gaming'.
'Do not copy' is the lesson for Indian gaming firms. Zynga keeps copying and nobody likes it. Also, gaming firms should first create a great game and then analyse it, instead of bringing great analysis and then make a game out of it. Zynga is often considered to be an analytics company than a gaming company. Analysis is important but game-play is more important.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)