Mobile games company Nazara Technologies has tied-up with CSE to develop, distribute and market games around cricketer Virat Kohli for three years. The deal will give Nazara exclusive rights to create games around the cricketer on mobile, web and DTH platforms.
According to Nazara, it will look to develop three to five games this year based on the right-handed batsman. The games will be made available for free on various digital and mobile platforms, with revenues being generated through advertising, sponsorships and in-app purchases. The games will also be made available to users across the globe.
The companies have not disclosed however, if the player would gain any share of the revenue made from the game, or if paid an upfront fee for the rights, or both. Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment, of which CSE is a sister company, also manages cricketers Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, M. Vijay and Robin Uthappa, along with other sportspersons like Sania Mirza, Sunil Chhetri and Dipika Pallikal. It will be interesting to see if Nazara extends its partnership toward other sportspersons in CSE’s portfolio.
Note that, this is not the first time Nazara has tied-up with celebrities to make games around them. It had signed a deal with digital celebrity network Fluence to create games based on Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan in May last year. It had also signed a deal worth over $3 million with Sachin Tendulkar to make mobile games over a three year period back in 2005.
Celebrity deals have been getting more popular for games in the recent times, as opposed to getting rights for Bollywood movies. These deals allow developers freedom when working on games, as compared to movie deals where game ideas need to be cleared with the production house and modified to fit the movie’s stories.
Previously, Nazara Technologies had signed a multi-movie deal with Fox Star Studios to develop games on the studio’s upcoming Bollywood movies and prominent movies in latter’s catalogue, in September last year.
In April, it had tied-up with Bahrain’s largest telco Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco) to launch a new subscription-based gaming portal called ‘Games Lounge’ for Batelco’s postpaid and prepaid mobile customers in Bahrain. It had also partnered Airtel to launch a flat-fee mobile gaming subscription service called Airtel Games Club in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda & Zambia.
Image source: Nazara