Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just playing games

Can you run a multi-crore business venture by just playing games? Yes, say India's gaming prodigies -- Somil Gupta and Sangam Gupta. The brothers eat games, drink games, sleep games and are set to mint millions from games!
Their company -- Trine Entertainment Ltd -- deals with high-end game development, offering a variety of 3D interactive entertainment for PCs, consoles and mobile phones. The games have unique plots based on Indian landscapes and characters from mythology.
If some of the games have real life streets of Mumbai as their landscape, some other games are based on the myths of Indian gods like Krishna, Shiva and Hanuman. According to Somil, the goal of the game is to save the future of India from all evil, including Ravan. "This, is localisation at its best, by incorporating characters and stories that we've all grown to love and cherish," says 30-year-old Somil Gupta, managing director, Trine Entertainment.
"Our first game -- 'Streets of Mumbai' -- is scheduled to be launched in by May end or early June. Racing games are one of the most popular genres for video games in India, so we decided on to develop 'Streets of Mumbai,' which is all about car racing in Mumbai," explains Somil.
Sangam has been developing his own game engine technology for past three years which is currently powering the games at Trine Game Studios.
He, along with younger brother Sangam, ventured out to do what they loved most, play around with games and more games and tap the booming market not just in India, but also in the United States and the United Kingdom.
"The potential for gaming is definitely skyrocketing," says Somil, as he shares his exciting journey of how he and his brother turned a big dream into reality.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The potential of Indian animation industry

The success of movies like Hanuman and Bal Ganesha has made production houses realise the potential of the domestic market. The Indian animation industry is moving away from being just a back office for Hollywood studios and other international production houses. It is now creating original content for the local market. With the success of animated movies like Hanuman and Bal Ganesha, production houses and studios are realising the potential of the domestic market. Apart from animated movies, animation series on television with original content have also been garnering huge TRP ratings such as J Bole To Jadu on Nickelodeon, MAD on Pogo among others.The entertainment segment of the Indian animation industry is worth Rs 1,300 crore, says a Ficci-PwC report on the media and entertainment industry. Over the next four years the growth in domestic demand for TV/Broadcast animated content is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.5 per cent. It is forcast the domestic market will be worth Rs 150 crore in 2008 and will touch Rs 300 crore by 2010. The launch of new channels almost everyday and the resultant desire to provide diversified and original content has made media houses look for original and localised content. The Turner Group is one such instance. Cartoon Network and Pogo — the group’s two kids’ channel — are growing at a rate of 25 per cent annually and to keep up the momentum the channel decided to acquire local content, early on. “We started acquiring local animated content in 2001. So far we have acquired 20 properties. When we launched Pogo, we felt there was a void in terms of animated content,” Monica Tata, vice-president, Advertisement Sales and Networks, Indian and South Asia, Turner International India said. The latest acquisition by the group is Chota Bheem— produced by Hyderabad-based Green Gold studios — which will be aired this summer. On the localisation strategy, Tata says: “We started by dubbing the programmes that we had in Hindi. The next level came with the introduction of Tamil and Telegu languages and then we started looking for content that would add value to the channel.” Graphiti is another firm that is bullish on the local market. Rather, it is one of the only firms which has been intent on creating original content. Agrees AK Madhavan, CEO, Crest Animation, who, having created some popular animation work in the international market, is now working on series for domestic market. Madhavan’s company is also focused on creating animated films.