Japan’s Bandai Namco, the company behind games like Pac-Man and Elden Ring, is making an investment in Pune-based game development studio SuperGaming. The deal is the latest example of the growing investor interest in Indian gaming firms.
Though India’s gaming industry is still at an early stage, it has seen massive growth in terms of revenue and time spent on games. As of FY22, the country had 507 million gamers and 120 million were paying users.
Indus Battle Royale
In 2020, around the same time that the Indian government banned PUBG Mobile, Bandai Namco Invests in Pune-Based Game Studio SuperGaming to create an India-based battle royale game. Known as Indus Battle Royale, the game will release later this year and hopes to fill in the void created by PUBG Mobile.
Indus is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that mixes elements from various genres. It features a shrinking map, skill-based matchmaking, and a ranking system.
Unlike other battle royale games, Indus is based on an Indian theme and features weapons inspired by the country’s rich history. It also aims to bring a futuristic twist to the genre.
Indus is developed by SuperGaming and runs on Unity coupled with a custom-built sandbox shooter tech stack, called Indus Engine. It was designed to make the gameplay more immersive and realistic while bringing out the best in the Android and iOS devices.
The Japanese game publisher known for entries such as Elden Ring and Dark Souls has invested in Pune-based gaming studio SuperGaming via its ‘Bandai Namco Entertainment 021 Fund.’
The studio will focus on developing a battle royale title called Indus. The game is set to release later this year and will also be available on mobile, consoles, and Windows PC.
According to Roby John, CEO of SuperGaming, the game developer will be collaborating with Google Cloud to make its live-ops game engine SuperPlatform available for more game developers worldwide. The platform enables game developers to take control of live operations, matchmaking, player progression, player data, analytics, monetization systems, server scaling, sales, and merchandising.
However, Penta ESports CEO Anurag Khurana warns that game development remains complex, even with the advent of modern game engines like SuperPlatform. “Creating an entire game, running LiveOps, which is essential for any battle royale game, and getting updates out on a monthly basis are all different challenges than building a shooter game,” he said.
Bandai Namco, the Japanese publisher best known for Elden Ring and Pac-Man, has invested in two gaming technology startups – SuperGaming from India and DeepMotion from the US. The companies are building tools to build 3D animations using motion capturing and AI technologies.
SuperGaming develops mobile-based casual games, and monetizes through in-app ads. The firm’s flagship title Mask Gun has bagged 67 million players worldwide.
Besides in-house developers, the company recruits freelancers from across the world for game development. Its team is based in Pune, India.
The company is developing Indus, a indo-futuristic battle royale title that pits Mythwalkers against other players on a floating island. At the center of the game is a mineral called Cosmium, which can alter space and time. It’s available on the Google Play Store for pre-registrations.
The Japanese gaming company behind Pac-Man, Elden Ring and Tekken, has invested in Pune-Based Game Studio SuperGaming. The investment is part of Bandai Namco’s startup investment fund, which aims to invest in startups and build an “IP metaverse.”
Unlike many Indian game developers, SuperGaming has a deep understanding of Battle Royales, and the firm plans on releasing their made-in-India title Indus before the end of this year. The game will feature a unique win condition, which could help it stand out from the competition.
As it currently stands, India is one of the largest markets for Battle Royales, with titles such as PUBG Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) dominating the space.
Indus, however, is not your typical battle royale experience. The game is built with a strong foundation in Indo-Futurism, and it also features a robust loot system that lets players avoid pointless clutter. Additionally, Indus integrates voice chat directly into the gameplay. This is a welcome addition to the genre and makes it easier for gamers to connect with other players.