New Delhi: With mobile gaming gaining strong traction in the country, Reliance Entertainment has brought its focus back on the Indian market and is looking to invest in 20 gaming startups this year.
Reliance Games, a part of Reliance Entertainment, has also announced investments worth over USD 50,000 in marketing and technology to support some Indian startups as part of its PG Connects event.
Reliance Entertainment is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
"The next 18-24 months present a massive opportunity as India is set to become the second biggest smartphone market in the world. The market is at a inflection point and it is a green-field opportunity for game developers as domestic mobile game market grows significantly," Reliance Entertainment Digital CEO Amit Khanduja said.
A few years ago, there were about 40 gaming startups and now there are more than 250 startups, he added.
"So, although India is still an emerging game development hub the talent and startup ecosystem is growing exponentially and in the next 3-4 years, we are hoping to see the industry grow to accommodate up to 50,000 professionals working in this space," he said.
Khanduja added that while the company has not defined an investment fund, it plans to publish with 20 Indie startups this year.
"We are more keen on strategic partnerships with startups than a particular quantum of financial investment where we can help the partner take their game to the next level for a launch. These partnerships include significant dollar investments in technology, marketing, analytics and people resources from Reliance Games," he said.
According to a FICCI-KPMG report, Indian gaming industry has grown from Rs 1,000 crore in 2010 to Rs 2,650 crore in 2015. This is projected to grow to Rs 3,080 crore by 2016-end and further to Rs 5,070 crore by the end of December 2020.
The company today announced the partnership with Indian Premier Leagues cricket team, Gujarat Lions, and has become the official gaming partner of the Rajkot-based team.
The games will allow players to customise their team, engage with their favourite T20 stars - Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch and other cricketers in the Gujarat team by playing with their favorite superstars in the game.
Khanduja said that the Indian market is ripe for investments but it needs more than financial investments.
"Currently, indie-developers need significant hand holding in design, monetisation, marketing and technology, we see strategic tie ups as the road to success than pure-play fund investments," he added.
The activity will see a big pick up, once these talented startups grow in terms of player engagement and monetisation, he added.
(With agency inputs)