GameTantra, the casual games arm of the Indian game development company Dhruva Interactive has launched new games for the iPhone and the iPad – Glo Flo and Bazzle. This is the companys first foray into the smartphone gaming business, and it has plans to bring the games to the Android platform in a month or two. The company intends to launch four to six more games for smartphones by the end of this year.
While Glo Flo is a connecting-the-dots type puzzle game available for the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad (in an HD version), Bazzle is an action plus puzzle game with a Physics based gameplay, available only for the iPad. Both games are available as paid apps. Distributed by Beeline (a sub-brand of Capcom), both have also made it to the top-10 in Family and Puzzle categories and have collectively received more than 22,000 downloads in a span of three weeks. Glo Flo for iPhone is priced at $0.99, while its iPad version Glo Flo HD costs $1.99. Bazzle is available at $0.99.
MediaNama readers might recall Dhruva Interactive CEO, Rajesh Rao hinting at a possibility of the company getting into the mobile games market, at the time of launching GameTantra. After the launch of its casual game Conga Bugs in 2009, the company launched another game specially targeting the US market – ‘Find Your Own Way Home’, produced by digital design agency Curious Sense, and based on popular 70s rock band REO Speedwagon. Rao says that the US is a good market for casual games, which are extremely popular specially amongst the 40+ female group.
The company’s last mobile venture, Cricinfo Genie, which simulated live Cricket action into animation did see usage, but since it was based on a resource hungry client-server system, the company was not able to get a decent return on investment; especially with telecom operators taking the lion’s share of revenue. With handset makers launching their own app stores, the mobile downloads market has become more democratic, according to him.
GameTantra will most likely launch free, ad-supported games on Android, in accordance with the ongoing trend, and also because Android users are less likely to pay for games. It also intends to release Lite versions of the games on iOS at a later stage.
Roadmap & Raising Funds
Rao informs MediaNama that Dhruva Interactive plans to ramp up its development team at GameTantra and is also in talks to raise funding. When asked about the launch of games on Social networks like Facebook, Rao responded that social games need a large team, with updates rolling out every week. Although, GameTantra is evaluating options to enter the segment, it will be at a later stage.
The company’s roadmap includes product play, developing, owning and running IPs, in addition to a different strategy for India aimed at value creation. Rao admits that International projects are necessary to sustain operations and maintain profitability. However, with India experiencing growth in Smartphone penetration and evolution of technology, the company has plans to develop India specific content, keeping in mind the cultural context, that separates it from other markets.