IGA.biz had the chance to talk to Nitish Mittersain, Founder & Managing Director of India’s a leading mobile games developer and publisher Nazara Technologies. Nazara reaches out to over a billion mobile phone users in emerging markets of India, Middle East, and Africa. Besides its own titles, Nazara is an exclusive distributor for global gaming giants such as Electronic Arts in many markets.
IGA.biz: How about we talk about your personal history in the games business first? When did you start your business? What brought you into the games business?
Nitish Mittersain: We started with a vision of gaming becoming big in India. Of course, we did not realize then that we were way too early in the market but we have stayed the course and kept the faith in our original vision.
Although I come from a textile business family background, as a kid I was always interested in computers and gaming and coded my first game when I was 8 years on a ZX Spectrum my father bought me. Over the school years, I tinkered with various computer related projects and also launched my own BBS (bulletin board service) while in school. Thereafter while studying in college in Mumbai, I was keen to explore my passion and launched Nazara as an online gaming destination. Over the years we have evolved to focus on mobile gaming.
My parents were always supportive of my activities since a young age and pushed me to experiment and try out new opportunities and skills
IGA.biz: What is the core business of Nazara today?
Nitish Mittersain: Nazara operates a unique game subscription service – Games Club, in 53 countries across the world and reaches out to more than 2 Billion consumers across emerging markets in the world. Nazara has solved last mile payment solution for the gamers who don’t have credit card and debit card by offering direct carrier billing via 125 telco operators in 53 countries. Nazara believes that first-time gamers need simple offerings which allow them to play games without worrying about constant data consumption by the games and complexities of nagging in app purchases and ads. Games club is curated games subscription service with free to play casual games with no ads and IAPs.
Nazara also is cognizant of emergence of app stores and gamers who have become evolved and are seeking new games on app stores. Nazara believes that gaming content would be local in nature like the movies & TV dramas and hence has published widely successful local IP-based games in Google Play… Nazara is one of the biggest publisher in India with fastest growing gamer network.
The games have been developed in partnership with high-quality developers globally and have been made for Indian consumers around massively popular Indian IPs like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Chhota Bheem, Hrithik Roshan
IGA.biz: Which services offers Nazara in the Asia and Middle East?
Nitish Mittersain: As mentioned above, Nazara offers “Games Club” in the Middle East and other Asian countries. Games Club has been described above.
IGA.biz: You have seen the industry evolve, what are the key changes that have shaped the industry?
Nitish Mittersain: The advent of smartphones has been the biggest game changer in India. With devices providing better experience at low costs, millions of Indians are being able to experience gaming for the first time and enjoy quality content from all over the world. I strongly believe that this is going to lead to a gaming revolution in the country and over the next 3-5 years we will have a large gaming community which never existed earlier.
IGA.biz: Please tell us a little bit about the games market in India. What are the chances and the challenges for games companies in India?
Nitish Mittersain: Casual gaming in India is exploding with over 100 million mobile gamers today and it is likely to grow to 300 million mobile gamers in 3-5 years’ time frame. Nazara being the leading game publisher in India will lead the growth of local gaming content in the Indian market.
One of the biggest challenges for Nazara is to cater to a wide varied base of gamers in India ranging from hardcore players playing RPG games at one extreme to super casual players playing simple arcade games. We have created separate teams to cater to different gamer segments having different expertise and a mindset to ensure that the thoughts don’t get mixed up.
Having said that, game selection as a publisher is still a precarious business and in spite of all the data-driven greenlighting process, we could end up getting it wrong. But that’s what makes gaming challenging, exciting and super fun!!!
The biggest challenge has been to be able to persevere through many long years while keeping the faith in our vision.
IGA.BIZ: Where do you see growth opportunities for Nazara and how are you looking to tap these?
Nitish Mittersain: We at Nazara believe that casual users would love to download and play content which has Indian cultures sensibilities like our cinema and TV dramas and hence we have signed a number of large Indian IPs (Intellectual properties) exclusively for developing mobile games for coming years. We think that the next generation of mobile gamers will download these games in droves as these are their stars on TV screen and Cinema screen.
Casual gaming in India is exploding with over 100 million mobile gamers today and it is likely to grow to 300 million mobile gamers in 3-5 years’ time frame. Nazara being the leading game publisher in India will lead the growth of local gaming content in the Indian market.
IGA.biz: Do you have any time to play games? What are your favorite games and why?
Nitish Mittersain: Our latest Chhota Bheem Toy since my 3-year-old son loves it. In addition, Supercell’s new game Clash Royale and another one called Non Stop Knight.
IGA.BIZ: Thank you for your time and all the information shared.