India’s leading mobile game company – Nazara Games, announced last year about their plans of investing over Rs. 100 crores in the esports sector of the country to develop a healthy ecosystem over the next five years. After the announcement was made, Nazara went dead silent with no more announcements, no more press releases and no more information to satisfy the curiosity of the Indian esports community. But today, as my mailbox shines with a new press release from Nazara Technologies, things are only going to get better.
Sandeep Singhal, MD at Westbridge Captial says, “Nazara and Nodwin coming together is a great win-win for the shareholders of both the companies. We are delighted at the possibility of this alliance”.
Nazara Technologies has acquired a majority stake of whopping 55% in Nodwin Gaming, the company that brings you ESL India Premiership, Dew Arena, ESWC Indian Qualifiers and many more, making it an independent subsidiary of Nazara. It aims to develop the esports ecosystem by focusing on competitive online and offline gaming, creating localized leagues and cups and boost esports as spectator sports in India. This move will also boost –
– localized content creation around global events like the ESL leagues and The International
– sponsored local events
– the creation of world-class esports athletes and players emerging from the Indian subcontinent.
Akshat Rathee, CEO and Managing Director at Nodwin Gaming says, “Esports is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide. This acquisition by Nazara Games adds to the credibility of NODWIN and opens up a wide vista of opportunities for Indian esports players to build careers domestically and internationally. It strengthens our ability to provide our key stakeholders better experiences and bigger opportunities to engage with our community”.
EY acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the transaction. Along with esports, Nazara intends to develop the mobile and digital sports category to build Intellectual Properties in the esports space across disciplines such as soccer, cricket and other traditional sports. The main concern now is, how many people actually “watch esports” in India. Well, according to Newzoo, there are not more than 2 million occasional viewers in the country. However, the numbers are expected to grow more than fivefold by 2021.
Manish Agarwal, CEO at Nazara Technologies says, “Through this acquisition, we aim to provide Indian esports enthusiasts (with) a robust player and community orientated esports ecosystem, in which players can thrive, improve their skills and become top competitors at an international level.”
With this acquisition, Nazara aims to create –
– full-time professional players with salaries
– professional teams like any other traditional sport
– major esports leagues and tournaments to increase viewership
– televised and online tournaments
– recognition for esports athletes as celebrities in India
Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director at JetSynthesys (Nodwin’s earliest investors) says, “Having worked closely with Akshat Rathee and Gautam Virk (co-founders) to build Nodwin Gaming to this level, we are pleased and excited about the future opportunity for all of us, that opens up with Nazara’s participation to help establish Nodwin as the clear leader in e-sports over the longer term.”
Let’s hope for the best and wait to see Nazara-Nodwin initiatives popping up as soon as possible. What are your views on this? Is it for the betterment of esports, or is it one step backwards? Let me know in the comments below. Also, make sure to subscribe to our push-notifications to stay updated with more from “esports in India”. Until next time, Happy Gaming!