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Kwalee projects £20 million investment in India following success of Bangalore studio

George Miller

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Kwalee projects £20 million investment in India following success of Bangalore studio
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UK-based game developer and publisher continuing to build in Bangalore as India becomes Kwalee’s biggest country by downloads with around 5 million monthly active players

Kwalee, a renowned developer and publisher of video games for all platforms, has projected a $30 million investment in its India operations over the next five years.

The Leamington Spa-headquartered firm announced its intention to make Bangalore the home of its first overseas studio back in May 2020, initially building the team on a remote basis due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the physical Bangalore studio now established in one of the city’s vibrant technology parks, Kwalee Bangalore already employs around 50 talented staff and is planning significant expansion with around 80 current vacancies in India across all disciplines and 25 new vacancies in the UK.

Team members in India have already contributed to the development of games such as Blade Forge 3D (20 million+ downloads), Teacher Simulator (25 million+) and Let’s Be Cops 3D (21 million+). Kwalee Bangalore team members have also been involved in updating classic titles like Draw It (90 million+ downloads) and have played a prominent role in many other exciting games that are close to launching worldwide.

But as well as India having an increasingly significant part to play in the development of Kwalee’s titles, the publisher currently sees more downloads of its mobile games in India than in any other country. With well over 600 million total downloads worldwide, including downloads in every country on earth, that amounts to a massive player base in India.

Kwalee is headquartered in Leamington Spa and was founded by games industry legend David Darling CBE, who previously co-founded Codemasters in 1986 and paved the way for the midlands gaming hub now known as ‘Silicon Spa’. With Kwalee having made its name with ‘hypercasual’ mobile games, which are known for their mass appeal and accessibility, the firm now also publishes games on PC and console platforms.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I’m delighted that Kwalee is expanding into India to make the most of the opportunities for UK businesses in one of the world’s biggest economies. Our exporters are brilliant ambassadors for Britain and I hope today’s announcement is just the start of what you can do for India and the UK.”

“It’s incredible to see the brilliant team we have managed to build in Bangalore, in such a short space of time,” said David Darling CBE, CEO and founder of Kwalee. “The vision from the start was for our teams in the UK and India to collaborate as though they were one studio, and even under difficult circumstances we’ve seen the fruits of that with great games and a fundamental contribution from our colleagues in Bangalore.”

“Our projected investment in Kwalee Bangalore over the next five years shows our commitment to continue building this amazing team and to maintain our rapid growth as we build a global team to make global hits. We’re so proud of what’s already been achieved in a disrupted year and we can’t wait to build on this platform.”

Kwalee’s most recent release, Makeover Studio 3D, has surpassed 2.5 million downloads in a matter of weeks and was recently a top-3 game on the App Store in the USA, UK and Canada.

Asia

Solid Gaming signs a distribution deal with Playgon

George Miller

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Solid Gaming signs a distribution deal with Playgon
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Content aggregator Solid Gaming has signed a deal to distribute Playgon’s proprietary Live Dealer games and E-table games to their customers on the Asian markets. Solid Gaming’s strategy is to provide a game for every one which is why they work with the best game providers to distribute unique and exclusive content to their partners.

Solid Gaming welcomes Playgon as a new mobile live dealer to their content library. Playgon’s titles include blackjack, roulette and baccarat that are broadcasted from their studio in Las Vegas (Vegas Lounge). With their proprietary game Tiger Bonus Baccarat™ it hopes to bring something new and exciting to the Solid Gaming table.

Under the terms of the agreement, Solid Gaming will add and market Playgon’s games to their content library for availability and distribution to all of its client base globally.

Ben Wood, Director of Isle of Man based Solid Gaming said: “Playgon will enhance Live Dealer casino games by bringing cutting-edge features and functions to the mobile generation of live gaming, which we believe will resonate very well with our clients.”

“The partnership with Solid Gaming is a major achievement for our company and significant validation of the innovation we are bringing to the live dealer market”, added Darcy Krogh, President and CEO of Playgon Games. “This partnership will give our Company an extensive reach in highly lucrative key markets, and we expect it will play a significant role in our revenue growth this year.

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Asia

ESPL signs Tiger Shroff as the face of the first-ever franchise based Esports league

George Miller

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ESPL signs Tiger Shroff as the face of the first-ever franchise based Esports league
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The B-Town heart-throb Tiger Shroff is all set to don a new hat as the brand ambassador for India’s first-ever franchise-based Esports league, Esports Premier League. ESPL kicks off on June 16th powered by Infinix smartphone as the presenting sponsor.

While Esports has seen an exponential rise especially during the lockdown, this league is the first of its kind to partner with Bollywood to bring wider popularity and acceptance to Esports. This power-packed collaboration aims to nurture an ecosystem that the Indian Esports industry has never seen before. The league will leverage Tiger’s popularity and strong influence on the dynamic millennials and Gen-Z.

Sharing his excitement Tiger Shroff said, “I am really excited to collaborate with Esports Premier League. This opens a tremendous opportunity to recognize the growing talent in Esports in India. As the world’s first franchise-based model in Esports, ESPL will surely help in putting India first on the global map. Esports fans and gamers are shaping the future of entertainment and sports. And I’m glad to represent this force of the future.”

With the majority of the 1.4 billion Indian population being youth, the Bollywood sensation also known for his passion for sports and Mixed Martial Arts will connect Esports to the mainstream as the inaugural edition of the league promises to bring the excitement of Esports through its nationwide tournament with lakhs of registrations that will commence from Wednesday. The preliminary rounds will engage in a highly competitive contest as eight teams will be chosen in the third round who will go on to contest in the grand finale.

While talking about the association, ESPL Director Mr. Vishwalok Nath said: “One of the major goals for ESPL has been to reach out to every millennial and gamer in the country and our purpose of having Tiger Shroff onboard has been to create a much deeper connect and grow the gaming community. We hope this association will also further our initiative to intensify the mission of taking Esports to the next level in India.”

As part of THE franchise-based league, the Hyderabad team has been bought by Chequered Flag Sports—a consortium between Sirish Kumar, Prasad Mangipudi, and Aashwij Ravula—and the team has been named as Hyderabad Hydras. Hyderabad is the first city that will witness the proud owners in the inaugural edition of ESPL. There will be more teams representing cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and states like Punjab, and Rajasthan in the upcoming league. India Today Gaming has teamed up with Garena to create this exclusive gaming platform featuring their most popular battle royale game, Free Fire, in India.

The matches will be streamed on OTT giant Disney+ Hotstar alongside official YouTube and Facebook channels of India Today and Aaj Tak and its websites. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 1 will be held virtually over two and a half months. It will also feature a prize pool worth Rs. 25 lakhs where the winner takes home a sum of Rs. 12 lakhs while second and third-placed teams will take home Rs. 6 lakhs and Rs. 3 lakhs, respectively.

To participate in the league, gaming enthusiasts and gamers can register themselves on www.indiatodaygaming.com/espl

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Asia

REGISTRATIONS OPEN FOR VALORANT CONQUERORS CHAMPIONSHIP

George Miller

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REGISTRATIONS OPEN FOR VALORANT CONQUERORS CHAMPIONSHIP
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South Asia’s leading esports company NODWIN Gaming and the global leaders in gaming and esports, Riot Games, have joined forces to roll out the VALORANT Conquerors Championship as the qualifying tournament to the APAC Last Chance Qualifiers, which is a part of the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour. Teams will compete in multiple sub-regional qualifiers, playoffs and grand finals for a prize pool of INR 25 Lacs (33,000 USD). The registrations for VCC have opened today, 15 June.

Registration open on: www.vcc.nodwingaming.com

Each sub-regional qualifier will have a set number of slots filled in through registrations followed by the online qualifying matches. Wildcard will feature all the runner up teams from the sub-regional qualifiers, who will play a double-elimination match series to earn a slot in the VCC Playoffs. A total of 8 teams will make their way to the playoffs. The 8 teams will undergo a Group Stage in the Playoffs with the top 2 teams from two groups making their way to the Grand Finals. The playoffs will take place from 19-22 August and the Grand Finals on 28 & 29 August.

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