UTV Indiagames has launched a Games On Demand (GoD) service for users on MTS MBlaze, starting at Rs 49 per month for access to 30 games, and going up to Rs 199 per month for 350 games. GoD is being made available to both prepaid and postpaid users of the MBlaze data card service. Games on offer include titles and series like Need For speed, Battlefield 2, FIFA, Cricket and publishers like Electronic Arts, Codemasters, Microsoft and Atari.
While access to these games is subscription based, Indiagames is also offering download to own options for games. According to the MTS-Indiagames website, the company is also planning to launch browser based games. The subscription service also requires for the game to be downloaded. Indiagames’ competitor Zapak also offers ZapakPlus games on demand service– it has a tie-up with You Broadband.
A few notes/thoughts:
Is there bandwidth? Wireless broadband connectivity is typically very flaky – I haven’t tried the service from MTS, but speeds tend to vary. MTS – and this is my guess – probably has a lower spectrum utilization as compared to others, so it can probably afford to allow game downloads.
Bandwidth utilization is being counted: the release doesn’t mention whether bandwidth utilization will be counted on MTS data cards for this, but the sites Frequently Asked Questions clearly states – “Yes. You will be charged for the downloads as per your MTS broadband tariff.” Remember that on Indiagames’ wireline broadband games on demand service, it isn’t. The FAQs also state – “However, after the game is downloaded for the first time, the real time authentication consumes only approximately 50 bits of data every 5 minutes – this means that if you play for 3 hours every day, you will consume only about 1 mb of data in a month. ” Our assumption is that for browser based games (once launched) bandwidth utilization will be higher.
A formal pilot? While this deal is a formal partnership, and not a pilot, by virtue of tying up with MTS, Indiagames will be able to test a few things – the download habits of users, response to pricing, propensity to download to own and most importantly, the issues that users face while downloading games on a wireless broadband service. Readers should remember that Indiagames’ parent company UTV is reportedly in talks for a joint venture with Reliance Industries Limited for rolling out content and services (including games) on wireless broadband.