Gameloft ties up with WinZO to target vernacular audience

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French gaming major Gameloft has partnered with Delhi-based vernacular gaming platform WinZO Games to expand its reach and monetize its games in regional markets. Gameloft will gain access to several of WinZO’s platform capabilities such as streaming, gaming formats, and in-app marketplace WinZO store to drive revenues of its popular racing title Asphalt 9, the French company said. Gameloft has a portfolio of more than 150 game titles that have garnered over 1.2 billion downloads across the world.

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The popular Gameloft titles include Asphalt 9: Legends, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Gangstar New Orleans. Last week, WinZO partnered with venture capital firm Kalaari Capital to launch “Gaming Lab” that will invest across all forms of interactive entertainment apps in India with a flexible corpus starting at over half a million dollars.

In July 2021, WinZO has raised $65 million in a Series C funding round, led by California-based Griffin Gaming Partners, taking the total tally of capital raised by the company to $90 million.  In September, the company also launched a standalone game developer fund with a corpus of $20 million.

India accounts for 12 percent of Gameloft’s downloads, which translates to about 150 million users, but accrues only 0.6 percent of its global revenue share, making it a high potential yet an underutilized market for the French company.

More than 60 percent of our 65 million+ user base are premium paying users, which makes us well-positioned to help big global companies to increase their presence in India’s booming vernacular gaming market,” WinZO cofounder Paavan Nanda said in a media release. “Today, India is at the forefront of the global gaming scenario and considering that we are at the cusp of this opportunity we believe we can ably leverage our tech and market capabilities to tap this boom and make it noticeable on the global grid.”

With the partnership, the popular racing title Asphalt 9 will be listed on the WinZO store primarily targeting non-English speaking audiences. WinZO said it will also deploy its influencer base to create localized content around Gameloft’s global titles, which the startup said could potentially garner more than one billion impressions. Last week, Asphalt Xtreme, a popular Gameloft title till a few years back was relaunched on Netflix Games.

Content-specific to these titles would be live-streamed in more than 12 languages with a plan to eventually run live deals and drive sales, it said. Founded in 2018 by Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore, the vernacular gaming platform hosts more than 80 games across multiple formats in 12 regional languages and claims to facilitate more than 2.5 billion micro-transactions per month.