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Zapak to raise $15M from China-based Lead Eastern

Games flicr

Chinese conglomerate Lead Eastern Group, will invest $15 million in Reliance Games owned Zapak in return for a 10 percent stake, reports Business Standard. The deal values Zapak at $150 million.

The companies will apparently also team up with Creative Cultural to form a three way joint venture in China, to develop and market mobiles games with Reliance Games holding a 40 percent share, Lead Eastern 51 percent share and Creative Cultural 9 percent share in the joint venture. This yet-to-be-named joint venture, will apparently use Zapak’s intellectual properties to operate and market its mobile games.

According to Lead Eastern, the partnership will let the two companies ‘expand extensively in China and global markets’, which makes us think the company will create games for the global market. Interestingly, Reliance Games and Zapak create independent mobile games despite the latter being a subsidiary of the former. We imagine the current partnership will not involve the intellectual property rights of Reliance’ games, rather only that of Zapak.

Note that in October last year, Reliance Games said it would soon start incubating and investing in startups in the gaming sector. The company had said then that it was evaluating games from a few developers, and would finalize the plans for the incubator by February 2015. However that date has come and long gone with no details of the incubator out.

Interestingly, Reliance Games recently held Pocket Gamer Connects, where apparently none of the winners of the event’s Very Big Indie Pitch chose to publish with Reliance Games. There are however, still a couple of Gamer Connects upcoming this year. Reportedly, Reliance was also facing issues with monetising games in India. In May, the company’s CEO Manish Agarwal quit to join Nazara Technologies, after a four year stint at the company.

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Reliance Games currently publishes games like Ultimate Robot Fighting and Pacific Rim, and claims to witness 1.5 lakh downloads for its games over mobile every day in the country. It also claims to have over a million active daily users worldwide. It offers over 20 mobile games across various genres, on Google Play and the Apple App store that have been downloaded over 50 million times with an average 4 star rating.

Zapak vernacular support: Earlier this month, Zapak announced that it would start supporting games in eight Indian regional languages including Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. As of now, the portal claims to have 2 million visitors a month, that spend over 21 minutes per session on the portal. The company claims to offer over 1200 browser based games on its website.

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