Indian mobile handset company, Micromax has tied up with Nazara Technologies to embed 40 Electronic Arts (EA) game titles on select handsets available to users in a try and buy model. Nazara being the exclusive partner for officially distributing EA Inc.’s mobile games across India, will facilitate the distribution and payments.
The titles available include the usual smattering of hits like ‘Need for Speed’, ‘EA Cricket 11’, ‘Tetris’ and ‘Harry Potter’ amongst others – all aligned with genres popular in the Indian market. The caveat though, is whether consumers will buy these games priced at Rs 49 and Rs 99, beyond the five free trials offered. There’s also an interesting subscription-based micro-transaction model tied up that offers access to games for Rs 3 a day, which the company claims is enabled through all carrier channels.
This seems to be a part of a directed strategy by Micromax in providing competitive Value Added Services to consumers, in order to differentiate its offerings in the highly crowded budget handsets segment. The company had recently launched EzMail, a push mail service, bundled with its Q80 handset.
While titles from EA are available to consumers on other handsets, an exclusive partnership of this nature is directed at increasing the customers’ exposure to the games, getting them hooked and increasing their chances of buying a game. However, what needs to be seen is how well consumers lap up for an offering like this. Specially when some of the budget smart phones feature a built in app store, in addition to operators’ white labelled app stores.
Also, the game experience is often only as good as the phone itself. With the onset of great games on smart phones, regular phones might just limit one’s interest to the 5 free trials offered. Having said that, Micromax hasn’t disclosed the handsets that will be equipped with these games, so the field is open and it’s pretty much game on for now.