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Mumbai-headquartered mobile gaming startup Nazara Technologies has forged an alliance with Amazon to provide localised Indian gaming experience on Fire TV. With this, the company’s offerings will now be available online (TV), in addition to mobile, thus enabling Nazara to widen its reach.

Amazon Fire TV offers access to a vast selection of movies and TV shows, popular apps, and features designed specifically for customers in India, including voice search for Amazon Video titles in Hindi and English.

Commenting on the development, Jayshree Gururaj, Director of Amazon Devices said in a statement, “In a year since launch, our customers have loved the experience to stream their favourite content right into their living rooms. We are constantly increasing our selection on the Fire TV Stick and are excited to have Nazara on board. This addition brings some of the most popular games to our customers.”

As part of this alliance, Nazara intends to bring its freemium games focused on children under the age of 11 years on the Amazon Fire TV platform, starting off with its flagship title ‘Chhota Bheem Speed Racing’.

Nazara has licensed a range of intellectual property for popular children’s brands such as Chhota Bheem, Motu Patlu, Shikari Shambu, Suppandi and Mighty Raju for developing and publishing freemium mobile games.

Speaking on the newly-forged partnership, Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara Technologies, added, “We aim to leverage our games incorporating popular kids IPs, with simple graphics and strengthen the ‘in premise’ gaming experience of children who play Nazara’s games on mobile devices. We believe that through Amazon Fire TV we would be able to bring the experience of our freemium games on television in an intuitive and fun way which can be enjoyed by consumers right from their own homes.”

Nazara Grabbing A Slice Of The Online Gaming Pie Through Investments & Acquisitions

Founded in 2000 by Nitish Mittersain, Nazara Technologies is a mobile games developer and publisher that provides unique services such as “Games Club.” It also serves as an exclusive distributor for key game developers such as Electronic Arts. Apart from Mumbai, the company has offices in Dubai, London, Africa and Singapore and has its operations in 61 countries across emerging markets.

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The mobile gaming company is engaged in the acquisition of, value addition to and distribution, of mobile games across emerging markets such as India, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

As a part of its in-house freemium business, Nazara had 44.49 Mn downloads until September 2017 and raked in another 19.34 Mn downloads in the calendar year 2018. Nazara’s subsidiary Next Wave Multimedia Private Limited (Next Wave Multimedia) is the IP owner of the World Cricket Championship franchise.

Between January and September 2017, Next Wave Multimedia recorded 64.30 Mn downloads. Earlier, in the calendar year of 2016, it reached the 42.02 Mn download mark. Next Wave Multimedia’s monthly active users (MAUs) in September 2017 were 11.02 Mn as compared to 5.98 Mn MAUs in September 2016, across its World Cricket Championship franchise.

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In FY17, Nazara raked in over $86 Mn (INR 550 Cr) in revenue and more than $10.3 Mn (INR 66 Cr) in profits.

Recently, in February 2018, the mobile gaming startup announced that ESL (Electronic Sports League), the world’s largest esports company invested for a minority stake in it. The investment is being used to scale up Nazara’s footprint in emerging markets.

Prior to that, in December 2017, the Mumbai-based gaming company Nazara raised about $51.1 Mn in a funding round led by IIFL Special Opportunities Fund. In September last year, it had also revealed plans to offer an IPO towards the end of FY18 for $156.5 Mn.

In January this year, Nazara Technologies acquired a majority stake in NextWave Multimedia to strengthen its portfolio of offerings in the virtual interactive sports genre in India and other emerging markets. The NextWave acquisition came after Nazara’s investments in startups such as MasterMind Sports, Truly Social, Moong Labs and more recently HalaPlay.

As per data available, India accounts for around 13% of the world’s online mobile gaming population. Further, according to a report by Flurry Analytics, India currently ranks among the top five countries in the world for online and mobile gaming. Also, as per a Google KPMG report released in May 2017, the online gaming industry in India is poised to reach $1 Bn by 2021.

At a time, when rival Flipkart is aggressively foraying into a variety of segments, with the aim of bolstering its revenues, Amazon’s latest partnership with Nazara likely points to its increasing focus on the burgeoning online gaming market. Whether it chooses to make a more direct entry into the segment in the near future will be interesting to watch.

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