Dhruva Interactive, one of India’s oldest game development companies, which has so far been focusing on the game outsourcing business has launched a casual games label called GameTantra. We’ve heard of GameTantra before – almost two years ago, there was word that Dhruva was launching GameTantra as a casual games portal – on the lines of Zapak and Games2Win. Dhruva had registered the domain names GameTantra and KhelTantra in 2000.

Rajesh Rao, CEO of Dhruva Interactive told MediaNama that GameTantra will be Dhruva’s customer and product facing label. The services business and the products business had co-existed till now, but he felt it was time to split them as the two have very different business models and paradigms, he said.

The company has released a PC based casual game called Conga Bugs under this banner. Conga Bugs is a chirpy, simple game where the bugs dance and party while you collect and match them by colour using three types of launchers. The game offers 130 levels spanning five locations, and includes educational information on bugs. It is available now for download at Big Fish Games, which will take it to Europe as well, said Rao. The game will be released to other gaming websites soon, the release said.

The previous game by the firm, Maria Sharapova Tennis, clocked half a million downloads in the last 3 years. Asked if GameTantra is planning any mobile games, Rao revealed that with recent reports suggesting a surge in downloads especially on iPhone and other smartphones, they might develop one.

We wonder if there’s a market for a casual PC games, unless they’re on the Wii; our take is that casual games are more of a web based phenomenon, even as there are great free downloadable casual games available on sites like MiniClip. Any idea what happened to Zapak’s tie-up with Boonty for casual game downloads?

(By Preethi J and Nikhil Pahwa)