Idea Cellular has tied-up with Acotel Interactive India Private Ltd to launch a game subscription service SkillsDerby to its subscribers. These are browser-based games that can be played on any device with a modern browser and not restricted to iOS and Android.
The games are themselves free and time limited. Users can subscribe to the service by paying Rs 20 a week, you get 30 virtual coins (every week) that can be used to extend the game time. Skillsderby games can be played from a desktop browser too, but if you try to subscribe to the service or buy additional coins, you will be taken to a WAP page. It is not clear why the company has not provided an option to subscribe to the service using card based payments.
Update: Acotel mentions in promotional material that you can win iPads and iMacs by winning tournaments, but we could not find any reference to these on the website.
Games offered: Games provided as part of the service include Jelly Slide, Bank Bandit, Fish Foodies and Maniac Traffic among others. There is also a weekly tournament at the end of which the top scorer is awarded virtual coins.
It’s not clear if anyone is interested in such games since they can just download one of thousand games that have similar gameplay from Google Play. There are many mobile vendors that even sideload such games for mobile users in India. Also, not all games on iOS and Android store require users to make in-app payments. The only advantage of tying up with Acotel is that their games are platform agnostic and load very fast.
The telco had previously entered into a similar deal with Gameloft to offer Java and Android games through its mobile website as part of Gameloft Club subscription.
Other deals for games: Telcos in India have been signing contracts with game publishers to offer them as a service to their subscribers. Last month Vodafone had tied-up with Disney India to launch a subscription service called Vodafone Games and Apps.
DisneyUTV and Electronic Arts had tied-up with Aircel to launch a new retail recharge card called ‘Aircel Pocket Internet Games’ in 2012. It was offering unlimited 2G data to those who subscribed to the plan that included over 1,500 games.