“Video Games are a waste of time for men with nothing else to do.”– Ray Bradbury
A quote that both the founders of Playcaso, Ninad Chhaya and Chirag Desai believe in and have also highlighted on their site. Playcaso is a multi-platform social gaming focussed company creating games across smart phones, tablets, etc. Apart from being a cool social gaming company, Playcaso was in the news for the all right reasons. Recently it got incubated by Nazara Technologies, a mobile entertainment company for an undisclosed amount.
Social Games are obviously one of the next big things after ecommerce in India. Recently we have seen lot of movements in this sector by all the heavy weight players such as PlayUp, IndiaGames, Jumpgames, etc. Playcaso is the new kid in the block but the industry has shown some great faith. So we thought of getting in touch with Ninad Chhaya who has been swamped with work all over. He took out some time and replied our questions via email which is shared below:
1. Hi Ninad! Playcaso is a cool name for a social gaming firm. Do you want to add a bit more about some cool things that you guys do in Playcaso?
Playcaso is a games publisher focused on publishing casual, social games across smartphones, tablets, online social media platforms and other connected devices.
We believe that games should be fun, free (well, almost!) and should be played with friends and so are focusing on publishing casual games which have a strong social element to them and which leverage the freemium model of monetization.
2. Playcaso is also providing publishing and marketing support for young developers. What is the story behind this and how much does a developer have to shell out for this service?
Playcaso works with indie developers and development studios both in India and globally to provide publishing and marketing support through our Publishing Programme.
There is a significant amount of game development talent out there and a lot fun, innovative games are being made which either never see the light of the day or sink without a trace essentially because of lack of publishing experience at the developer’s end or paucity of marketing funds to provide an appropriate launch pad for a good game.
Many a times, a developer launches a game which is “almost there” (but lacks the polish and finesse) in desperation to start making money so as to recover the investment made in developing the game. However, very often, such a game does not generate the desired buzz and downloads since it lacks the ‘ít’ factor.
This is where we come into the picture. As a publisher, Playcaso engages and works with developers at various levels. As a part of our publishing programme, we provide production support, marketing support or even development funds depending on what the project needs. Leveraging the collective experience and expertise of the team at Playcaso we ensure that the game which gets published through us gets the proper launch pad it deserves.
As regards to your question about what does the developer have to shell out for this service, all we ask of the developer is not to compromise on the quality and to focus on creating a fun, innovative game and we will take care of the rest.
3. Can you share some of your cool social games that have been loved by the gaming community off late?
We have quite a few interesting games lined up in our roadmap which are in production and haven’t been launched yet. The first of our games will be released by end of October 2011.
4. You have been recently funded. No we won’t ask you the figure but would love to know how would you use it.
With our incubators, Nazara Technologies, backing us, it helps in laying down the right foundation to build a publisher of global repute out of India.
The investment will be used across key initiatives which include hiring experienced talent at a senior level especially in game design and production to increase internal production capacity, as well as setting up the Playcaso Developer Fund and towards content acquisition and marketing.
In the days to come, we are also looking at raising funds through VCs / private equity funds to help accelerate our growth.
5. Finally Social Games is the hot flavor after Ecommerce this year in India. How do you see the growth in India and any advice to app developers?
Social gaming has been a part of Indian culture for ages, albeit in a different form. Almost every household in the country has played a music based social game over several generations; Antakshari and all of us have played different types of social games as kids and while growing up in the real world.
The point I am making is, Indian developers, need to look at this space as a vertical to experiment and create fun, innovative original games rather than create clones of popular international games. The social gaming platform is an ever evolving platform and as a developer, you need to be in sync with global trends in terms of player behaviour and usage along with ensuring that you do not lose focus of the product quality and fun factor.There is immense potential for growth both from an end user perspective and developer perspective as far as social gaming is concerned as long as one doesn’t lose focus of the key aspects of social gaming; quality, fun factor and implementing the social / community gaming feature in an effective manner.
The publishing model of Playcaso really excites me and I can understand where it is coming from as Ninad has devoted 13 years to the field of gaming out of his 16 year experience. Undoubtedly, social games are hot in the market but nurturing talent is a great initiative by Playcaso. Wishing the team of Playcaso all the very best and would be looking for the launch of your games.
Do you think a publishing model introduced by Playcaso will help build a repute in the industry?