It’s been a long time coming, and WebChutney has finally launched its gaming business FITH Media (which stands for Fire In The Hole). The launch of the gaming business comes shortly after WebChutney launched its publishing business, with the “Life And Times Of Roger Federer App” for iOs devices.
They’ve released an Android game called Nikal Padi, with great graphics, although the filesize, at 12 MB is rather large, particularly for this game. The name (Nikal Padi) is a colloquial reference to the need to go the loo, and those playing the game have to rotate pipes in a particular sequence to design a continuous pipeline to the tap, and then rotate the valve so the character can fill his bucket with water and rush to the loo before the time runs out.
This is WebChutney’s second game, after “Chidiya Udi”, which it had launched on the Apple App Store in December 2011. Note that nothing’s quite become of WebChutney’s game development outsourcing partnership with One97*, inked in March 2011.
In an email to MediaNama, WebChutney founder Sidharth Rao said that their idea is to build quality games focused on Indian market, with Indian sensibilities. At present, we noticed that there is no monetization in place – no advertising runs within the app or before it, and the app is free to download. Rao says that they want to understand the mobile space quickly. “We are doing a lot of work in creating unique content for mobile, working with brands, as well as VAS operators with all types of content / applications”, says Rao, adding that “We are meeting a lot of brands targeting youth to see what we can do together.”
Why This Brand Focus?
We tried the game, the gameplay is easy to understand, and also seems familiar. The first couple of levels were easy, but the game game becomes progressively more challenging.
As difficult as it is to say this about a game about taking a shit, the opportunity for FITH Media is to expand this franchise: the character created is clearly identifiable, and the gameplay is interesting and can be developed upon.
The gaming business is unpredictable, and you never know what might work. If it clicks, there’s an opportunity for company to integrate advertising, retail ad-free apps, and provide different levels at a cost. What I don’t get is that last statement that Rao makes about working with brands: what’s with the brand advertising blinkers that WebChutney wears? Why depend on advertising and brand support for games, when you can build and own IP? This almost looks like a proof of concept, in that light.
Also, why target the Indian market when you can create a global IP?
(We tried calling Rao, but there was no response. We’ll update when we hear from him)
P.s.: in case you didn’t notice, the first game from Fire In the Hole Media is Nikal Padi. Not surprising, from WebChutney.