ScarFall: Made-in-India gaming app aims to level the playing field for Aatmanirbhar Bharat
Viral action game PUBG has been winning the online gaming sweepstakes in India since 2019. But a new clutch of gaming apps is now making waves in India.
Enter ScarFall: The Royale Combat, an online and offline action survival game that emerged as one of the top Made-in-India apps in the gaming category in the recent AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The tech team of Surat-based XSQADS Tech with Founder Jemish Kumar Lakhani (centre)
Developed and published by Surat-based XSQUADS Tech, ScarFall was launched in October 2019. Since then, the game – available on Android and iOS - has surpassed one million monthly active users (MAUs).
Jamish Kumar Lakhani, Founder and CEO of XSUADS Tech, says his idea to create a Made-in-India gaming app that competes with the likes of Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, and PUBG was in line with the Prime Minister Modi's recent clarion call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
ScarFall: The Royale Combat stood at second position in the Games category. Hitwicket™ Superstars got the first position while World Cricket Championship 2 (WCC2) stood at third position.
A new ball game
Jemish set up an app development startup in his home town, Surat, six years ago. But the idea of building an Indian-origin action game came to him when he was studying engineering, about 10 years ago.
Jemish Kumar Lakhani
He recalls that he and his friends often went to cybercafes to play games such as Counter-Strike. At that time, Jemish wondered why no such popular game had come out of India and that he, as an IT engineer, should do something. But post-graduation, he focused on his career and started his company in 2014.
“Initially, we would develop applications for clients, but when I saw games like Call of Duty and PubG gaining so much popularity, I decided to finally give shape to my college-time idea,” Jemish says.
The founder says that building an action game app is “not easy”, adding that it took him three years and 15-16 hours of work each day to develop with a game like ScarFall. “When I started building Scar Fall, I did not know how to build a world-class app, so I kept learning and developing the game, one day at a time,” he says.
Speaking about challenges, Jemish says getting IT resources – easily available in Bengaluru or Gurugram - was a battle since his startup is based in Surat . “But I wanted an Indian app in this category, so I persisted.”
ScarFall debuted on Google’s Play Store in Diwali 2019, and was soon available on Apple’s iOS.
Game plan for the future
Jemish says his app did not get traction initially but was soon discovered by some YouTube influencers, who reviewed the app with pride as it was an India-made one.
“We started gaining traction slowly. Within less than one year, we have clocked 80,000 daily active users (DAU) and one million monthly active users (MAU),” Jemish says.
India has an estimated 628 million gamers, who are wooed by hundreds of developers with attractive gaming titles. The online gaming sector is projected to cross $1 billion in revenues this year, according to Statista. The huge market has also generated immense investor interest.
But bootstrapped XSUADS Tech is not looking to raise external funding as of now.
Jemish says he wants to keep focusing on upping the game for ScarFall and plans to launch tournaments after “we are over coronavirus”.
“Only Indian gamers will participate; it will be a state-wise tournament,” says Jemish, adding that his aim is to help India score and win on the digital gaming battlefield.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)