Vodafone Idea on Monday launched its gaming service, available in partnership with mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies. The service is called Vi Games and is said to offer more than 1,200 Android and HTML5-based mobile games from 10 genres directly through the Vi app. Game titles on Vi Games are available to both prepaid and postpaid subscribers. While some games are available under a subscription model, Vodafone Idea also offers all its customers over 250 free games on the platform.
Vi Games offers 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 offers gaming content in three different categories: Platinum Games, Gold Games and Free Games.
Gold games are available through a Gold Pass which brings 30 game titles for Rs. 50 for postpaid users and Rs. 56 for prepaid users — valid for 30 days. Platinum Games, on the other hand, will be on a pay-per-download basis via a Platinum Pass at Rs. 25 for post-paid and Rs. 26 for pre-paid users. However, free games are available as free downloadable titles through the Vi app.
Vodafone Idea plans to gradually expand the Vi Games offering to include social gaming and e-sports. The main goal of the new service seems to be to increase average revenue per user (ARPU) and remain relevant in the competition with Airtel and Jio.
“We are seeing a significant increase in gaming consumption in India, with more than 95 percent of gaming enthusiasts using the mobile device to enjoy a variety of content,” said Avneesh Khosla, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Idea, in a press release . “We see gaming as a key focus of our digital content strategy and intend to develop a comprehensive game that encompasses most facets of gaming with the goal of establishing Vi as the destination of choice for both casual and serious gamers.”
Currently, Vi Games doesn’t seem to be bringing any popular titles to play for mobile gamers. However, the operator claimed that they offer a wide range of gaming content from different franchises in India.
Gambling is indeed growing in the country with an estimate to surpass over 500 million users in 2022 alone, according to a report by FICCI-EY. A separate report from market consultancy Niko Partners forecast that India’s PC and mobile gaming revenues are projected to reach nearly US$1.5 billion (around Rs.11,500) in 2025.
Vodafone Idea is currently facing losses and has been struggling to attract new subscribers in recent months. However, Telekom seems to be trying to improve its position and attract new customers through the use of content.
Last year, Vodafone Idea integrated the Vi Movies and TV app into 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 for both prepaid and postpaid users.