Nextwave Multimedia: Riding High on Games
According to a GigaOM report “Gaming, Mobile marketing and social networking will leverage technology in 2012”. The casual gaming sector is abuzz with activity owing to companies like Nextwave MultiMedia. Nextwave develops casual games for mobile and tablets predominantly and has a catalogue of over 120 games with over 20 million downloads on the Ovi store. We caught up with Mr. P.R. Rajendran, founder at Nextwave Multimedia, to explore the gaming scene.Where do you think India stands in the gaming arena?
India is poised to significantly grow in the casual gaming and app-space due to the raw talent that is present in the country and due to the fact that so many new start-ups are entering the space. Additionally, there is a lot of pride involved with developing IPs among new start-ups. App stores like Nokia Publish, iTunes, and Android provide great global distribution and monetization opportunities that were not available in the past.
Further, India-focused mobile players like Nokia are developing the ecosystem by training and even funding entrepreneurs, which is exactly what happened in the United States and Europe.
What kinds of games does Nextwave Multimedia develop?
Nextwave predominately focuses on developing casual games for mobile phones and tablets. We develop them for multiple platforms, such as Nokia’s Symbian, IOS, Android, and BlackBerry. We now have a catalogue of over 120 games.
Apart from gaming, we are also working on content creation tools for mobile phones and tablets. The first of which will be launched around mid-March. We are also collaborating with domain experts on a partnership basis to develop classical music, medicine and education apps. This will be based on addressing gaps and opportunities that are present in the market. But, games and content creation will be our major focus.
How has your journey in the gaming arena been so far?
I started my career as a copy writer in an ad agency. During my time there, I found digital media to be more interesting and felt that there would be great opportunities unfolding in that domain, so I made the switch and started Nextwave.
In the initial stages we spent time on digital/interactive communication for big brands, work which mostly came from the United States and Europe. During this time we had opportunities to work on small games for some of the brands. We honed our skills in developing such games for over three years and began to really like what we were doing.
The turning point came when Nokia India was looking for developers like us to create content for its app store. Some of our early content got great reviews on the Nokia store, which was a big morale boost. Ever since we have enjoyed what we are doing.
How do you see India growing in the app-space?
I believe that India has the great talent needed to succeed in the app-space. The challenge for entrepreneurs is going to be keeping the talent from the big IT service companies; candidates still fall for big offices and big names. Hopefully if some of us have great success and share it with our team members, candidates will take us more seriously. We can only create great wealth when we create great IPS.
How much time and investment is required to create a new game?
Creating casual games can take anytime between two weeks and a year. So it could potentially cost between 1 lakh and 1 crore, depending on what you attempt. We have started investing in games and apps that take nearly eight months to complete.
How do you market your games?
We only market through blogs and social media. Creating a great product that grows sales virally is the best thing to do; your product is your best promotion.
What are your expansion plans?
We simply want to create great content and tools for the mobile phone and tablet space. Our measure of growth will be how well our products are received globally. I have stopped counting growth in terms of the number of people on our team.