Two months after launching its music streaming service, Vodafone Idea has launched a gaming service called Vi Games in partnership with Nazara Technologies as it looks to monetize its growing data subscriber base in India.
Vi Games will be available through the company’s main Vi App offering a wide range of gaming content including popular game titles from various franchises in India. The platform will offer both Android and HTML5 games across 10 popular genres.
The Vi Games proposition will initially have casual gaming content and gradually be developed to host social gaming and even eSports in the future, the telco said.
“We are starting to transition and transform Vi in terms of shaping a larger digital agenda creating a larger digital ecosystem for our consumers,” Vi’s chief marketing officer Avneesh Khosla told Indian media on Monday.
Khosla said that Indian consumers are spending almost one third of the day on their mobile devices. Smartphone users spend 4.8 hours daily just behind Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, according to App Annie.
“The next phase of our digital evolution is based on monetizing the user base,” he added. “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.”
Gaming is one of the biggest segments amongst the entertainment category, estimated to cross 500 million users within 2022 in India, according to a FICCI-EY report. It is the most popular choice for fun and relaxation by Indian consumers and is expected to garner even higher share in the time and money spent by users over next few years.
“We are seeing a significant uptake of gaming consumption in India with more than 95% of gaming enthusiasts using the mobile device to enjoy a wide variety of content. Deeper penetration of smartphones and 4G availability has led to meteoric growth and adoption of gaming content making it a popular choice for fun and entertainment,” Khosla said.
The launch of Vi Games and its new music service (the latter in partnership with Hungama Music) is part of Vodafone Idea’s comprehensive digital strategy to realign its consumer digital resources under a new and integrated ‘Consumer Digital’ product curation and delivery organization, which will comprise three verticals — Consumer Digital Products and Partnerships, Consumer Digital marketing, and Digital Delivery.