Amid popular international mobile games such as PUBG from South Korea and Clash of Clans from Finland, homegrown gaming platform Okie Gaming plans to make a dent by introducing indigenous digital games through ‘Desi Sports League’ (DSL), set to launch in October.

Inspired by the government’s push to promote games based on Indian culture and folk tales, manufacturing and consumer durables firm Okie Ventures’ newly launched gaming arm Okie Gaming will focus on offering at least 30 local games originating from different Indian states such as Vallam Kali (boat racing of Kerala) and Dahi Handi (Maharashtra) every month. It will allow users to play local games online with their friends, colleagues and family, and win real money. Users can also play the league without involving money.

Apart from the website, the Okie Gaming app will be available for download from the Google Play Store for Android devices and Apple Store for iOS devices.

Jitin Masand, chief executive, Okie Ventures, believes that Indian sports can also provide the the same adrenaline rush that a PUBG has to offer and they just need to be packaged and promoted well.

“Our goal is also to convert the DSL league into fantasy games as covid impact reduces and live local sports resume. It would be similar to cricket and we aim to launch the fantasy version of DSL in the next two years,” he said.

The platform will go live first with casual games such as ludo and carrom. The fantasy sports will go live on 15 September, coinciding with IPL.

The company is aiming at 10 million app downloads in three months by promotion via television, digital (Google and Facebook), over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms. It is partnering with celebrities such as actor Mahesh Babu, Urvashi Rautela, Mouni Roy, Mona Lisa, and Kaushambi Mukherjee to promote the app. It is also in talks with video streaming platform Disney + Hotstar for IPL advertising.

Focused on converting users from tier 3 and 4 towns who are not inclined towards digital payments, the platform will also offer “Okie Gaming Recharge Vouchers” starting with states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar where a team of 200 distributors will reach out to 10,000 retailers to sell these vouchers.

“Users from small towns can add money to the wallet in the app through these vouchers and start playing. The aim is to break the barrier of digital payment and bring them into digital gaming fold. We are aiming to acquire one million users through offline medium,” Masand said.

In the first half of the calendar year 2020 there has been a significant increase in the number of users and the screen-time in the gaming space due to lockdown said Roland Landers, chief executive, All India Gaming Federation.

“The change in approach and well-supported infrastructure is driving the growth of the online transaction-based skill gaming industry by 30% and the ARPC (average revenue per customer) grew by 41% as per the EY FICCI Frames – Media and Entertainment report,” he added.

The forecast for the online gaming industry in India in terms of revenue is also bright. A recent report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and consultancy firm EY noted that the online gaming industry, including transaction-based real money skill games and casual games, clocked around 6,460 crore in revenue in the financial year 2019-2020, with transaction-based games accounting for around 4,600 crore.


News Source: Liveminnt


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