Exclusive: Djuzz, the BuzzCity owned mobile games and applications portal, which was supposed to be shuttered by December 31, 2012, has been acquired by mobile games company Nazara Technolgoes*(Hat tip - Deepak Abbot). In addition to this, the company has acquired BuzzCity’s mobile social networking property MyGamma, with around 4 million monthly unique users. BuzzCity plans to focus on its mobile advertising service, and was shutting down Djuzz. Nazara Founder and CEO Nitish Mittersain told MediaNama that they are building a “GCity gaming network”, looking to attract consumers with free content, and will use freemium models for monetization. “60% of MyGamma and Djuzz users are from India, and we get a headstart with the userbase.”
Djuzz has sent an email to its partners, informing them that Nazara is planning to continue providing the service. It provides advertising supported games for free to users, and was launched in February 2010. Some of its partners include Adidas, Reebok, Cellufun, Digital Chocolate, EA Mobile, Fring, Hungama, Nazara, Indiagames, IGFun (Indiagames’s International arm), and Playfon among others.
In March 2012, BuzzCity had claimed that Djuzz had hosted 19,000 games by the end of 2011, with 90 million app downloads during the year, of which 48.6 million app downloads were games. Nazara had been particularly successful among these, clocking 1.5 million downloads across 5 titles, while its competitor Indiagames had recorded 857,298 downloads across 3 titles, and IGfun recorded 1.74 million downloads across 4 titles. Among International gaming partners, BuzzCity stated that EA Mobile had recorded 9.3 million downloads across its 16 titles on the Djuzz platform while Hovr had recorded 8.4 million downloads across its 17 titles on the platform.
“With the expected growth in Mobile Internet over the next 2-3 years, we want to build out the properties. In terms of monetization, (at present) it is through advertising. We (Nazara) also have carrier billing options, and we’ll figure out adding premium options, in-apps within that ecosystem, but that is work in progress,” Mittersain told MediaNama.
The email sent from Djuzz indicates that Nazara will ink a fresh contract with partners. Mittersain told MediaNama that Nazara does not plan to change the terms of the contracts for Djuzz, only the company ownership. “Whoever wants to sign the fresh agreements with us, we’ll let his content remain.” Note that Nazara is both a publisher and a network owner. How will it deal with this, especially since some of its competitors, like Indiagames are on the network? “We intend to run it as an independent site, without any interference. We don’t tend to destabilize. There shouldn’t be too much a challenge,” Mittersain said.
email sent from Djuzz to Partners
Sent: 22 January 2013 14:31
In our last email, we expressed our intention to decommission Djuzz so that we can focus on our core business as a mobile ad network.
Since then, we have agreed to transfer ownership of Djuzz to Nazara Technologies who are keen to continue providing the service. This means consumers still get to enjoy thousands of free and free-to-try mobile games while developers like you, continue to enjoy free distribution of games.
To get things going, our friends at Nazara Technologies will be contacting you with a fresh partnership agreement.
Good Luck – I am sure users will continue to enjoy your games.
Disclosure: Nazara is an advertiser with MediaNama
Updates: an earlier version of this post suggested that Buzzcity is backed by Naspers. That changed last September, and this post has been edited to reflect that