Standing in the corner of the metro-rail compartment, without even an inch of space to move his limbs, the young man looks unperturbed, his entire attention on his smartphone. One can see his facial expression change with taps and swipe on the glass surface of his mobile. Miles away, a young woman waiting for her appointment with the hairstylist is busy on her smartphone – odd funny noises from her mobile punctuates the chatter in the lobby. In all probability both are engaged in gaming, and so are millions of others.
With the advent of smartphones and increasing internet connectivity, the mobile gaming industry is booming. With new games and apps being launched every day, the discovery-download-deletion hassle is one that needs urgent attention.
Mobile gaming has invaded our ‘smart’ lives big time and every other day is spent in the search for newer games to suit our taste. However, for Delhi-based Yashash Agarwal, the mobile-gaming experience lacked something. He felt it was full of unnecessary friction and lacked simplicity. Barely 20 years old, Yashash, who represented India at the Thiel Summit in San Francisco this year, started working on the idea of a gaming platform which is similar to social networks. His objective was to create a platform where gamers can play and share new games like they consume content on social network: all with a click and without the friction of downloading new apps each time.
Yashash’s elder brother Gaurav, an Indian School of Business dropout, was working with Bain & Company at the time. He was keen on keeping tab on the technological innovation of the gaming industry. When Yashash discussed his plans of creating a gaming platform with his elder sibling, Gaurav quit his job. And the two brothers went on to create Gamezop, a platform to play, view and share games without any hassle.
How It Works
Gamezop is a destination for casual games where users can play games without downloading apps and also share the games with friends over WhatsApp or Facebook as playable weblinks. The games are sourced from HTML5 game developers from around the globe and the offering is revised each week. As only a handful of games are featured each week, it removes the friction of discovering and downloading gaming apps altogether. Through the platform, Gaurav and Yashash aim to make playing and sharing games as simple as viewing and sharing pictures and videos on social networks.
Gamezop consists of several features which the founders describe as unique only to the platform. Firstly, users can play featured games with a single tap, without downloading any app. Secondly, unlike most gaming portals, Gamezop gives its users the flexibility to play in the offline mode as well. To make the experience more social, the platform offers weblinks for every single game that can be shared on messenger apps and played on the browser.
As a platform, Gamezop works on three different levels.
Aggregation: The platform has partnered with multiple indie game developers across the globe who work on HTML5 technology and has access to 300+ high quality games.
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Curation: Each and every single game is checked for quality and made consumption-fit for consumers in India.
Packaging: To avoid the clutter at app stores, a bespoke list of four new games is featured each week
According to Yashash, games that have been onboarded so far are ‘super casual games’ or ‘snack games’. A user can understand the nitty-gritties of these games in the first ten seconds of use; examples would include Flappy Brid and 2048. A lot of it relies on the inherent addiction quotient that most games usually depend on.
The Gamezop app is currently in beta and live on the Play Store. “Our developer partners from Europe are running extensive checks on it”, adds Yashash.
Market Size And Competition Landscape
Gamezop is eyeing casual smartphone gamers between the ages of 10 and 25. The users in this age bracket usually look for a hassle-free experience when it comes to gaming and entertainment.
The mobile gaming sector has been experiencing a 135% CAGR in the country alone, he informed.
The team believes that the numbers are promising and the market as of now presents ample opportunities.
In India, as per the founder, Gamezop doesn’t face any direct competition as there aren’t too many companies working specifically with HTML5 technology as of now.
However, he was quick to point out that the scenario is different in the global market. Several players from the US, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands and other countries exist in HTML5 game publishing.
Gamezop is one of the top finalists of GEW50 and has won top positions at 10 national level business level competitions.
Monetization And Funding
Currently, Gamezop is focused on a particular stream for revenue generation. It seeks to monetize through smart analytics by enabling access to user engagement cohorts across several game segments.
The GSF Accelerator-backed startup has also raised funds from Powerhouse Ventures and is currently in the process of closing its next round of funding.
The vision, according to Gaurav, is very clear for Gamezop. Within a year, the company wants to make playing and sharing games as seamless and hassle-free as viewing and sharing pictures across social networks.
A research study by Newzoo and OneSky states that the Indian mobile gaming market is one of the fastest expanding markets in the world and is expected to grow to $571.6 Mn by 2016. With growth, new players would emerge and competition grow intense.
Gamezop has the offline advantage which can keep it a step ahead of emerging players. One challenge the gaming industry faces is that users suffer from attention deficit. Games rely heavily upon the gamer’s addiction and it calls for continuous innovation on the developer’s part to keep the user’s attention at toe. The Gamezop app establishes pattern in user interest and offers selected games to suit the taste of every gamer & introduces new games every week. The success and sustainability of Gamezop will heavily rely on the success of this interface. As long as it continues to read its customers well and keep the excitement factor ticking the company has immense chance of growth.
Adding the social network interface to gaming and by cutting through the clutter of the gaming market, it is now Gamezop’s turn to play the game well, get to the next level and come out as an undisputed winner.