The Indian gaming scene’s impressive upward mobility clubbed with the enormity of the market has kept the pot boiling for a while. Yet one ponders whether the western games like Oddbods Turbo Run may surpass the growth rate of indigenous ones. Hypr Games, a game development and publishing company backed by U2opia Global Group has recently launched Oddbods Turbo Run game which is popular among kids between the age group of three to seven. The game is inspired from the Emmy awards nominated animated comedy series of the same title featuring seven adorable characters who live in a world full of unusual adventures.
Hypr Games help western developers to publish games in India with their local presence, monetisation, marketing, and growth and Oddbods Turbo Run is one of them. The game has adorable characters which according to Hypr Games will receive a lot of affection from youngsters across India. In conversation to AnimationXpress U2opia Mobile co-founder and CEO Sumesh Menon expressed that they are focused in developing and publishing high quality, lightweight, addictive social games for mobile and instant platforms for the global audience, as they have witnessed a paradigm shift in the users’ behaviour in consuming content and the new opportunity with distribution platforms.
Considering that they have discovered a two-fold strategy to develop in-house games for mobile and instant platforms and help other developers to provide supports to publish and distribute games in India. “We scout to double down our strength to build a unique value proposition in our business and produce super engaging gaming content for our audience. We are also developing hypr casual games and instant games for global markets and rolling out with well-known publishers,” added Menon.
The Indian gaming market has grown notably in the last two years thanks to the affordability of smartphone and cheap data rates. “In the country, we have approximate 500mn+ Smartphones and about 60 per cent of the users play games regularly on the phone. There is a large percentage of users who are exposed to gaming the first time through mobile phones. We see massive potential in the market with a low barrier to entry and largely English speaking young audience” expressed Menon.
Hypr Games is optimistic about the market and thus they are investing heavily to build publishing discipline for the onboard western developers to provide end to end support including payments, distribution, marketing, and growth.
The game has received a commendable amount of traction within three weeks as it clocked over 100,000 downloads. They are aiming to list Oddbods IP among the top three endless runner games in the country and to meet their targeted audiences as fast as possible.
Thus when asked about what are the success mantras behind it he replied “there are many factors behind the success of the game. We would categorise them into the two most crucial elements: Engagement and Marketability. The game should be engaging enough to entertain the audience for a certain period of time and bring them next hour or day and convert it into their regular habit and source of entertainment. In addition to that, the game content should be relatable to the targeted audience in order to get their attention to download it and recommend it to their friends to download, through word of mouth.”
The game was launched three weeks back and has clocked over 100,000 downloads already according to Hypr games the player feedback and organic discovery are reportedly positive. “We are very much committed to making this IP as top three endless runner games in the country and reach out to our target audiences as fast as possible,” he expressed.
When asked on the strategy behind publishing western games in India this is what Menon replied “We are fairly transparent and focus on building values by publishing in India. Our aim is to provide continuous support to developers for understanding the market, help them to make the product right for the market and support with our growth engine that offers marketing investment, payment solutions, monetisation and player support. Our on-boarding process is fairly simple and easy. Our publishing SDK takes a few hours to get all essential in the game and to be market ready. We understand the main points of developers that they go through working with publishers as we are developer ourselves and so we try to design our process keeping developers first.”
When India is buzzing with gaming content with the introduction of new developers, players and studios the changes of launching game in India is real and Hypr Games is no exception. The primary challenge that they are facing “is always in monetising Indian audience which is being low ARPU (Average Revenue Per Use) market. We need to work with the right advertising and payment partners and provide attention to the detail in the product to ensure the game is monetised at best possible way without affecting engagement metrics.”
Denying that publishing of more and more western games in the India market will affect the Indie game development scene in India, Hypr games expressed that in next five years the country will witness a lot of western game developers designing their products keeping the Indian audience in mind and taking the market more seriously than ever before. “We do see a lot of innovation happening on the marketing, growth and payment side to make success in this market. We are bullishly investing in creating great quality gaming content for emerging platforms like instant messenger and mobile platforms. We are expanding our team to 25 people this year and looking to roll out 10 games in 2019.” said he.
Oddbods animated series connects a lot of kids and teenager audience, however since the game is an endless runner arcade, therefore, it is also targeting casual players irrespective of age.