Vodafone Idea on Monday launched its gaming service that is available in partnership with mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies. Called Vi Games, the service is claimed to offer more than 1,200 Android and HTML5 based mobile games across 10 genres directly through the Vi app. Gaming titles on Vi Games are available to both prepaid and postpaid subscribers. While some games are available under a subscription model, Vodafone Idea is also offering over 250 free games on the platform for all its customers.
Vi Games brings mobile games based on genres, namely Action, Adventure, Arcade, Casual, Education, Fun, Puzzle, Racing, Sports, and Strategy. There are also games based on Disney cartoons and movies, such as Big Hero 6 Bot Fight, Castle of Illusion, Ducktales Remastered, and Disney Kickoff, among others.
Vodafone Idea is offering gaming content in three distinct categories: Platinum Games, Gold Games, and Free Games.
Gold Games are available through a Gold Pass that brings 30 gaming titles at Rs. 50 for postpaid users and Rs. 56 for prepaid users — for a validity of 30 days. Platinum Games, on the other hand, will be available on pay per download basis through a Platinum Pass at Rs. 25 for postpaid and Rs. 26 for prepaid users. However, Free Games are available as free-to-download titles through the Vi app.
Gradually, Vodafone Idea is planning to grow the Vi Games proposition with social gaming and e-sports. The prime aim of the new service appears to enhance the average revenue per user (ARPU) and stay relevant in the competition against Airtel and Jio.
“We are seeing a significant uptake of gaming consumption in India with more than 95 percent of gaming enthusiasts using the mobile device to enjoy a wide variety of content,” said Avneesh Khosla, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Idea, in a press statement. “We see gaming as a major focus area of our digital content strategy and we intend to build a comprehensive play encompassing most facets of gaming with the aim of establishing Vi as a preferred destination for both, casual as well as serious gamers.”
At present, Vi Games does not seem to bring any popular titles to play for mobile gamers. The operator, though, claimed that it offers a wide range of gaming content from various franchises in India.
Gaming is indeed getting bigger in the country, with an estimation to cross over 500 million users in 2022 alone, as per a report by FICCI-EY. A separate report by market consulting firm Niko Partners forecast that India's PC and mobile gaming revenue is projected to reach nearly $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 11,500) in 2025.
Vodafone Idea is currently facing losses and struggling to add new subscribers for the last some months. The telco, however, seems to be trying to improve its position and attract new customers by using content.
Last year, Vodafone Idea integrated the Vi Movies and TV app within the Vi app to start offering music and videos through its primary app. The operator also partnered with Hungama Music in December to offer free access to songs, music, and videos to both prepaid and postpaid users.
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