NODWIN Gaming acquires gaming adjacent IPs and gaming talent business from OML Entertainment for ₹73 crore

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on September 18, 2021

Hopes to better integrate gaming with other aspects of pop-culture

Esports company NODWIN Gaming has acquired the gaming and adjacent IP business of OML Entertainment for ₹73 crore.

OML Entertainment is known for managing some of the most popular gaming and entertainment creators such as Tanmay Bhat, Samay Raina and Suhani Shah. OML also owns IPs for music festivals like BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender, comedy touring properties such as LOLstars and Headliners; India’s hip-hop league – Breezer Vivid Shuffle; and works with major brands to produce events like YouTube FanFest and Levi’s Music Week.

Integration of businesses

The transaction will provide partial liquidity to OML Entertainment shareholders, including CA Media. Ajay Nair, MD of OML Entertainment, will join the NODWIN Gaming board as part of this transaction. He will work with Akshat Rathee, MD of NODWIN Gaming, and the NODWIN Gaming management team to ensure smooth integration of OML IPs and to help with growing NODWIN Gaming’s business.

Rathee told BusinessLine, “Today, gaming has become an intrinsic part of pop culture and that’s why we’ve seen comedians like Tanmay Bhat and Samay Raina stream gaming content. They are not gamers or sports athletes who are sitting down and performing. Yet these creators have made gaming and esports more palatable for all kinds of audiences.”

He added that there are various potential synergies that can come out of this acquisition, such as esports events engaging more fans through gaming stages being set up in music festival stages. “But what we do and what we don’t do is going to be based on what we can eventually stitch together,” he said.

Expand userbase

An independent subsidiary of Nazara Technologies, NODWIN Gaming envisions this acquisition to help the company engage a larger pie of gaming audience, by tapping into emerging synergies in gaming entertainment that a 14–30 year old is looking for.

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“When you look at the market, it is segmented into hardcore gamers, mid-core gamers and casual gamers. NODWIN has been catering to the hardcore gaming audience and has been majorly successful in engaging them. Now to expand NODWIN’s audience pie to mid-core and casual gamers along with delivering similar engagement levels is where this convergence of comedy, music, and gaming will help us,” said Sidharth Kedia, CEO of NODWIN Gaming.

Collaboration and consolidation

For esports events like DreamHack, NODWIN and OML have collaborated in the past to set up music stages and comedy stages. Now, NODWIN hopes to have more immersive and inclusive integrations.

Ajay Nair, Managing Director, OML Entertainment, said, “We believe in the convergence of different pop culture genres and have seen that this has already happened across several platforms and IPs. It makes a lot of sense to consolidate the strengths that OML Entertainment and NODWIN Gaming have in the live IPs and gaming spaces. OML Entertainment will continue to focus on building its OTT content production, talent management, and branded content businesses.”

The total revenue of the acquired business of OML Entertainment during FY20 (pre-COVID) was ₹91 crore with EBITDA of around 10 per cent. OML Entertainment will continue to consolidate its non-gaming creator-driver content and talent management businesses as it scales its OTT offerings and branded content marketing suite of services that currently works with over 700 creators across the world. It had clocked revenues of ₹170 crore in FY20.

Published on September 18, 2021

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