Info-tech

Gaming will see good growth in five years, says Transgaming CEO

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 22, 2013 Published on March 22, 2013

Vikas Gupta, CEO &President, Transgaming

Toronto-based Transgaming Technologies specialises in video game portability.

It allows games in one operating system to be used across others. In 2010 it designed the GameTree TV, a platform that allowed games to be played on smart TVs through set top boxes.

GameTree TV service was launched by Free, a French internet service provider, on its high-end IPTV set-top-box.

Currently, Transgaming is in talks with Indian operators to bring the technology here.

Vikas Gupta, its CEO and President, spoke to Business Line about the gaming market here, the GameTree TV platform and business plans.

Below are edited excerpts:

How do you see the gaming market in India?

Gaming is still very much in its infancy. The appetite, though, is increasing.

The problem right now is that gaming is still cost-prohibitive and accessibility is limited. There aren’t enough retail or digital outlets for gaming.

We are trying to rectify that by working with some of the operators or infrastructure companies who use broadband.

Which are these companies you are working with?

Although I cannot name them, we have a relationship with Indiagames. And Indiagames is supplying our content and technology to operators such as Reliance and Airtel.

What is the revenue model?

Typically, across France and the US we charge a monthly rental of €5 or $5 for a pack of 40 games. This amount is added to the user’s bill.

Is this the same model in India?

The model in India is a little different as the cost structure and economics vary. We recognise that trying to charge Rs 250 a month is probably too high a price point for most consumers.

We have different models with different partners currently, but we are looking at more OEM-based (original equipment manufacturer) models in the future. This allows us to have scale in the revenues; and flexibility of bundling deals where games, movies and television can be combined.

But the platform works with a set-top-box only …

Yes. It requires high-end set-top-boxes or a smart TV.

But the Indian market is dominated by local cable networks and smart device usage (set top box and TV) is very low.

We are working with companies who have these smart devices. But it will be a time-consuming matter. We are a software company and have to depend on the hardware. By Smart TV we imply one that has a broadband connection and a chip set to keep the apps running. But that does not mean a legacy TV.

Although the set top box penetration is limited (in India), within the next five years, set top boxes will become a standard.

So how long would it be before the Indian gaming market is up for grabs?

In five years, India will be a mature market. But between now and five years we will see some good growth.

How big is India’s share of your revenues?

Right now it’s minimal. But India is an emerging market that has a really big potential.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(The reporter was in Canada at the invitation of the Canadian government.)

Published on March 22, 2013
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