In an attempt to penetrate the ever-growing gaming market of India, South Korean company Krafton Inc. has invested $5.4 million in Nautilus Mobile — a Pune-based indigenous game development studio owned by digital entertainment and technology firm JetSynthesys.
The company aims to expand its portfolio of sports games beyond cricket and deepen its penetration in India and abroad. Krafton has earlier developed popular battle royale games like Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), PUBG: Battlegrounds, and PUBG: New State.
Meanwhile, Nautilus has been running the highly popular ‘Real Cricket’ franchise game. The company in a statement remarked that it is currently ranked #1 simulation-based cricket gaming franchise in the world with 100 million+ downloads and a highly engaged community peaking at 1 crore monthly active users (MAUs).
Speaking about the development, Rajan Navani, Founder & CEO of JetSynthesys and Chairman of Nautilus was quoted as saying by TOI, “Krafton has been a key player in the global mobile gaming space and we’re glad to join forces with them to take our Indian studio on to a global stage. With this partnership, we aim to scale Nautilus Mobile’s already robust gaming portfolio bolstering their growth trajectory further,”
Meanwhile, Sean Hyunil Sohn, India head of Krafton, Inc sounded optimistic about the collaboration between the two like-minded companies. Sean said, “Nautilus Mobile has a young and passionate team who are mission driven to create the best cricket experience on mobile with a proven track record of building successful cricket games. Krafton is excited to invest in them as the first game development studio in India with whom we share a common goal of creating more unique sports gaming experiences for a passionate cricketing Indian audience,”
Modi government’s announcement for the sector in the budget speech
If ever there was an opportune moment to invest in the Indian gaming market, that moment is certainly now. As reported by TFI, in her 2022 Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Modi government’s decision to set up a special task force for the promotion of the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics (AVGC) industry.
The Finance Minister pointed out that the task force will provide huge opportunities for young professionals. She also added that the industry will be crucial in creating new jobs in the country. According to Deloitte projections, this industry can generate around 20 lakh jobs.
A dwindling Chinese gaming community
These developments come on the heels of China and its gaming industry going through a regression, courtesy of the dictatorial policies of President Xi Jinping.
According to the South China Morning Post, no less than 14,000 gaming businesses have shuttered in China recently. Over 140,000 gaming firms have closed as China continues its new license freeze.
According to the report released by the Game Publishing Committee (GPC) of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, the industry’s gross sales revenue grew 6.4 per cent in 2021 from a year ago, a sharp reduction from the 2020s 20.7 per cent growth.
Indian gaming sector and its potential
Meanwhile, the Indian gaming sector, still in its infancy is generating revenue worth $1.5 billion. In 2025, total revenue is expected to be worth $5billion. Varying estimates suggest that currently, India has 1, 50,000 professional gamers. These gamers bring in more than 17 million viewers’ with them.
Online gamers in India are estimated to grow from 360 million in 2020 to 510 million in 2022. Mobile gaming takes the largest chunk of the gaming market thanks to accessing affordable smartphones growing at 15 per cent year-on-year for the past five years in India.
Moreover, the high internet penetration rate and low cost of the internet, courtesy of Jio, has played a major role in driving the online gaming sector in India. The audience is growing by the day. All the gaming companies need to do is churn out international level and quality products that be lapped up by the masses. If they manage to do this one thing right, the sector is there for the taking. And Nautilus has certainly put the right foot forward by collaborating with Krafton.