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Go play kabaddi … on a PlayStation

Tuesday, 18 November 2008 - 3:55am IST
Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) is set to launch console versions of traditional games such as kite-flying, kabaddi and kho kho in the country.

BANGALORE: Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) is set to launch console versions of traditional games such as kite-flying, kabaddi and kho kho in the country.

Atindriya Bose, country manager, told DNA Money the company would launch the series with rural settings and backgrounds. He added that these would be eventually taken to international markets.With the launch of these games, Sony is seeking to maintain its leadership position in the years ahead and to expand the gaming market to tier II and tier III cities.

SCE has outsourced the development of these games for Sony PlayStation (PS2 and PSP) to Hyderabad-based Gameshastra and will launch them by March 2009. It will also launch two quiz-based games on general knowledge and engineering, developed by Bangalore-based Candela Software.

Another Hyderabad-based game developer, Aurora Technology, is already developing the Hanuman-Boy Warrior game. All these games are in the beta (test) stage at the moment. SCE has laid down a roadmap to encourage local game developers, who are also less expensive than developers in other countries.

“SCE has formed a special team in London to provide technical support to developers and will also give them loans to buy the equipment required for developing these games. Sony is committed to sourcing development work from Indian companies,” added Bose. The company has set its eye on 40 other developers in India.

According to Bose, though outsourcing of game development is at a nascent stage in India, it has the potential to become a $10-billion market in a few years. “We plan to make games from India at economical rates of less that Rs 500 per licence,” he said. Apart from game development expertise, India also provides a huge market for Sony’s games and consoles.

Nasscom, the information technology and business process outsourcing trade body, estimates that the Indian gaming market will touch $212 million by year-end and reach $1 billion by 2012, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 50%.

Bose claimed that SCE enjoys an 80% share of the Indian gaming market. A slew of titles from SCE will hit the Indian market before Christmas. Apart from several international games from Japan, the company will also launch its 80-GB PlayStation3 console in India.

Sony has also slashed the prices of several of its products to fight the grey market.




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