Bahrain’s largest telco Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco) has partnered with the mobile games company Nazara Technologies* to launch a new subscription-based gaming portal called ‘Games Lounge’ for Batelco’s postpaid and prepaid mobile customers in Bahrain.
While the deal period or the financial details of the partnership were not disclosed, Batelco informed that the service will initially offer games for Java-based feature phones but it plans to offer games for both BlackBerry and Android phones in the future.
Batelco informed that the subscribers can head over to Gameslounge.batelco.com.bh to browse through the game titles and subscribe to the service. Its currently not clear how many games are available through the service since we were unable to access the portal. However, its worth noting that Nazara has an exclusive tie-up with Electronic Arts for the Middle East region, which provides the company with exclusive rights to distribute various EA Mobile titles across its carrier partners in the Middle East as well as third party channels, aggregators and retail channels in the Middle East region. It had also acquired BuzzCity owned mobile games and applications portal Djuzz earlier this year.
Pricing: Batelco informed that it will be offering this service through three different subscription plans – daily plan priced at 150 fils (around Rs 22), weekly plans priced at 500 fils (around Rs 72) and monthly plans priced at 1.5 Bahrain Dinars (around Rs 215). The company also informed that it will offer an option to purchase these games for an one-off fee and users can pay for these games through operator billing.
Nazara had acquired BuzzCity’s mobile games and applications portal Djuzz and mobile social networking property MyGamma in January 2013. Following this acquisition, Nazara Founder and CEO Nitish Mittersain had told MediaNama that these acquisitions will help them get a headstart on the userbase front for its GCity gaming network.
In November 2012, Nazara had inked an exclusive alliance with Electronic Arts (EA) to extend its partnership to African continent. Following this, the company had also stated plans to commercially launch its operations in the African market, focusing on markets such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria, among others. Mittersain had informed that Nazara would offer a complete solution to telecom operators in these markets, wherein it would manage their entire gaming decks which includes managing the end to end management, promotion, marketing, technology and content, quite similar to what it was doing in the Middle East.
Nazara currently has commercial operations in India, Africa, Middle East and Europe and Mittersain had informed earlier this year, that they were in the early stages of expanding their operations to South Asian markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Disclosure: Nazara is an advertiser with Medianama