Though the Indian gaming market is still niche, Indian gaming companies receive huge revenues from outsourcing jobs. At the NASSCOM Animation & Gaming Summit, Hyderabad, a panel of some of the top gaming companies’ executives discussed the challenges and the right model for a gaming startup. On the panel were Dhruva Interactive’s Rajesh Rao, Trine’s Sangam Gupta, Cha Yo Wo Games’ Jugul Thachery and Kreeda Games’ Robin Alter.
Said Jugul, ”When we started out with four people, we were creating flash games and licensing it to several gaming portals. With time, we saw many ups and downs and have now established ourselves as a strong game development team of 75, developing games for a variety of platforms. Not a single person in our team is from a gaming background; we have handpicked and trained them.”
Talking about the kind of work his company does, he said that when they had started, there was a lot of programming work coming to them as their team was not so strong in game concept art. ”Game art sensibility of Indian artists and western artists are completely different, which at times, doesn’t fulfill the client’s requirements,” he said. So, how do you pitch to a client? ”You need to have a strong portfolio and a quality product that builds credibility,” Jugul added.
Sangam set up shop in 2006 with a team of half-a-dozen people, has managed to make Trine one of the leading gaming studios in India with a team of 130. ”When we started, we didn’t have any idea to compete with anyone but we were looking at a model which was untouched so far – the full game development model (rather than doing work in parts). In the first year, we spent most of our time in R&D. From the second year, we started pitching to publishers, and after several attempts, we got few projects and now some of them are ready to release. When approaching a client, if we pitch him to the sequel to one of his existing projects of IPs, we will definitely be considered as they can relate and trust what we are telling them.”
”When started, we had roped some guys from EA and the biggest challenge for them was to adjust to the work culture, which is completely different in the West. There are contractual limitations, separate HR policies and many more things,” he added.
Robin, whose company Kreeda Games started with the help of venture funds, adopted the model of being online game publishers. ”We launched a multiplayer online PC game ‘Dance Mela’ which became quite popular among the gamers,” he said.
Concluding the session Chairperson, Rajesh said, ”Making a successful game takes tremendous investment from both sides, including pre-production.” Citing the example of ‘Forza’, a game majorly developed by his company Dhruva Interactive for the Xbox 360, he said, ”We have actively participated in the game art as well and that’s exciting
”We are a 12-year-old company and it has been a long and tough journey. We have invested a lot in recruiting smart talent with positive attitude.” Well there it goes, the secret of India’s premier gaming enterprises.