Update: According to the UTV 2007-08 annual report, the FY08 numbers for Indiagames were from December 14, 2007 to March 31, 2008 – almost a four month period. We had incorrectly mentioned these as numbers for the full year. The article below has been updated with corrections.
Indiagames Ltd, a gaming subsidiary of BSE listed media company UTV, has reported turnover of Rs. 464.2 million for the full year ended March 31st 2009 (FY09). Profit margins are a cause for concern: the company has reported a Profit After Tax of just Rs. 2.24 million on a turnover of Rs. 464.2 million. This, however, is because the broadband Games on Demand (GoD) subscription business is in investment mode.
UTV expects the Mobile business of Indiagames to grow well and deliver in the current fiscal, but returns from the mobile business to be invested in the broadband Games On Demand subscription business.
For the approximately four month period in 2007-08 from December 14, 2007 to March 31, 2008, Indiagames had reported a turnover of Rs. 91.45 million, a loss before tax of Rs. 1.57 million, and a Profit after Tax of Rs. 0.86 million, given a provision for taxation of Rs. 2.43 million.
During the year, the equity stake of IG Interactive Entertainment Limited (a UTV subsidiarly) in Indiagames increased from 54.86 percent to 58.64 percent due to issue of additional shares, while the stake of UTV Software was been reduced from 12.11% to 1.78% on account oftransfer of its stake to the management shareholders. In all, UTV and IG Interactive Entertainment Ltd own 60.42 percent of Indiagames.
Indiagames is believed to be the largest distributor of mobile games in India. According to UTV, the company provides gaming content to over 80 telecom operators across 67 countries. In India, Indiagames has exclusive distribution rights for mobile games from publishers like Glu Mobile, THQ Wireless, Electronic Arts and IPlay, and has been publishing games based on Hindi Movies and TV shows like Fashion, Delhi-6, Ghajini, Paanchvi Pass, Nach Baliye and ICL in the domestic market, some of which are UTV properties; international titles include Batman, Indiana Jones, Moto GP 2008, FIFA09, Need for Speed.
In the 2008-09 fiscal, Indiagames restructured its development team for a greater focus on the Asiapac region.
Ignition & True Games
On the console gaming front, Ignition entertainment, which develops, publishes and distributes console gaming content, published and distributed over 20 games in 2008-09. It is currently developing 3 large and 2 smaller IPs for release. The IPs being developed include Wardevil, Reich and El Shaddai. The company focuses on North America, UK, EU and Japan, the largest markets globally, and has three facilities: Ealing in London; Gainesville in Florida and Tokyo in Japan.
UTV had acquired 80 percent stake in online gaming startup True Games Interactive Inc through a holding company (UTV Games Ltd). True Games is focused on creating their own gaming platform in US and Turkey and syndication of their content, with their revenue model based primarily on micro-transactions and syndication. During the year, True Games acquired the global publishing rights for free-to-play MMORPG (Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) Warrior Epic, developed by Possibility Space, which was recently released in US and Turkey and has also been syndicated to various countries like China, Korea, France, Russia, etc. True Games also entered into another game development agreement with Possibility Space to develop a high end MMORPG, and tied up with Petroglyph for developing a Free-to-Play micro-transaction based online game called Mytheon which is in advanced stages of completion.
UTV is looking to leverage synergies across it’s gaming companies: Indiagames acquired the license to one of Ignition’s Mercury Meltdown for the mobile platform, and there are plans for similar collaboration in case of games from True Games.