A niche community for fragmented groups of game enthusiasts who had earlier nowhere to go.
To a millennial, it won’t be usually out of place to slide back to nostalgia whenever by chance he hears someone call a name like ‘Mario’ or ‘Contra’. That’s the impression and that is the thrill one still feels having been part of the most fantastic development of the video gaming industry in India. Young kids would easily be seen thronging to game parlors and waiting for their turns on the console. Those dimly lit rooms served as a platform for game fanatics to meet like-minded friends, share knowledge and boast of their achievements.
But with high internet speeds, and better computer graphics, things changed over time. Gaming parlors shut shops as everyone started playing at home and connecting online for multiplayer options. What happened in the transition is that local communities of game enthusiasts started disappearing and individual players could see themselves being ranked against nondescript ‘usernames’ from all around the world whom they have never met or even heard of. Incidentally, the world for gamers has been becoming a lonely and segregated space of fragmented groups of game enthusiasts. It is high time we had a Facebook for gamers.
Internationally, there have been a few platforms that have realized the need of this special category and so Raptr, and Playr.me are the biggest names that one can take to define a social networking space for gamers. However, the presence of Indian gamers on these websites remains remarkably low because most content is not targeted towards Indian consumers, for whom the access to international games still remain somewhat restricted. That is where the first and the only Indian social networking platform for gamers- ‘Nova Play’ comes into the picture.
Amitesh Rao, CEO, Nova Play elaborates, “On Facebook, gamers can’t share their achievements and talk about it in a language they would prefer, because everyone is present in your circle and not everyone in your circle understands what you are talking about. So we have created what is the first and most comprehensive platform for gamers in India where you can make your own gamer profiles, brag about your achievements and be informed about the best and the most happening things in the gaming ecosystem.”
Nova Play already has been a hit amongst 200,000 odd Indian subscribers. The startup has also received a funding of $750,000 that Amitesh reveals is being pumped into the technical development of the platform which is in Beta version currently. Nova Gaming Ventures also have an international presence in Singapore, and their development centre has been established in Bangalore. Currently, the platform is available only as a desktop version and an app is being developed to support it. Over time, it remains to be seen if Nova Play becomes the next big thing for gamers in India and gives the youth of today the same thrilling experience of collaborative gaming that the parlors of yesterday brimmed with.