(By Diwaskar Chettri and Preethi J)

Update: Four days up and the regional language option is not yet available on the WAP site. Comics are only in English. Tsk tsk.

Earlier (March 4, 2010): Mobile VAS company Nazara Technologies has tied up with only two operators – RCOM (GSM only) and Airtel and is in talks with other telcos to bring Archie comic strips in vernacular languages for mobiles. The comics will be available in 2 days’ time, the company has said.

Delayed Launch

Nazara’s licensing deal with Archie Comics dates back to 2005 so why the delayed launch? Nitish Mittersain, CEO, Nazara told Medianama that comics were not viable earlier due to the lower number of GPRS users and that the situation now is better, even in small cities, towns and rural areas.

The landing page for Archies comics is on the operator deck – Airtel Live. It just shows subscription options now but will also offer options for language preference, the company said.

We will update this post when the regional language comics are launched; the English comics are accessible now. We may be in for some disappointment. The comics that are currently available are not well aligned with the mobile screen (a Nokia 5800’s) as you can see. We deserve better.

Links to the comics:

For Reliance GSM users: 203.115.112.5/archieonril/
For Airtel users: 203.115.112.5/archiecomics/default.aspx

Revenue Share & Royalty

Nazara gets a net 30 percent after tax deductions of what the operator makes on the comics subscriptions.

From this, the company has to pay a royalty to Archie comics publisher. This amount is around 20 – 30 percent of what Nazara makes from the comic book subscriptions.

Pricing

Mobile user can download Archie comic strips in their choice of language by using their GPRS connection at Re 1 per day, Rs 10 per week and Rs 30 for a month depending on their operator.

Mittersain also said that they will be looking at the success of these comics in India and then look at partnership to bring more international comics to India.

Website Rejig, Logo Change

Nazara’s new website doesnt appear to be complete yet – some links such as Zones, News, Careers, Partners etc link back to the homepage and the logo..well, the less said the better: the older one was funkier, dont you agree?

Related:
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Rediff Launches Diamond Comics For Mobiles
Nazara Brings Mobile Community Cellufun To India
iPhone Roundup: BSNL, Nazara, Airtel EMI