Regardless of one’s age, ‘gamers never quit and only restart’. Young or old, with the influx of affordable smartphones and data plans, almost everyone has a game they love, downloaded on their handsets thus giving a big boost to the gaming industry. Apart from new age technologies like IoT and artificial intelligence, mobile gaming is surely the next big thing. And what better does one need if they love playing a game like BaaziNow that also pays. In an exclusive interview with DataQuest, Gautam Sinha, CEO, Times Internet, speaks about the gaming industry in India and the benefits of live mobile games.
Q.What would you say about the current gaming industry in India? And how it is expected to grow in the future?
Gaming is taking Mobile Entertainment to the next level. While traditional game formats have been existing in the market for a while, new formats based on Live 2-Way Interaction, Augment Reality and Virtual reality are expected to create a disruption sooner rather than later. These are interesting times for the industry as India’s smartphone penetration and low data costs are driving creators to make games right from the high-end phone users to the bottom of the pyramid.
We are already among the top five largest online mobile gaming markets and more localised content and increased user need for newer avenues of entertainment will mean we race to the top soon. The industry, however, needs to be aware that the user is getting more fickle by the day and that will mean shorter shelf life for games and an increased need for innovation. Live 2-Way Interaction, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and AI will fuel this innovation and will play a big role in shaping the gaming industry in Future.
Q.What was the idea behind creating games like BaaziNow, PollBaazi and BingoBaazi?
We have always been of the view that Real Time Community playing engages the audience better than anything else. Keeping in mind the digital-first audience we reimagined mobile video entertainment and thus came up with BaaziNow, a completely new format for video entertainment. As of now, BaaziNow supports 3 game formats: BrainBaazi, BingoBaazi and PollBaazi all of which are live shows, participated by consumers even on the go through their mobile phones.
Q.Millions of gamers play your games every day. Does the app collect and record gamers’ data?
We do not collect any user information apart from the phone number of the user which is OTP verified. This helps us uniquely identify the user and transfer the winnings on his/her preferred mobile wallet.
Q.How are you ensuring that sensitive data of gamers like Paytm and mobikwik accounts are safe and secure?
Millions use our platform and trust us with their data. To uphold that trust posed in us we ensure that our data security measures start right from the development phase. Our QA keeps reviewing code throughout the development process to ensure that we find every possible security hole and plug it. We at BaaziNow, follow the zero-trust method, thereby ensuring maximum security.
Q.What makes your games different and more preferred than other live quiz shows?
We believe that the tech superiority and the content of live trivia is the most important element that attracts the user.
- While the questions evoke curiosity and a feeling of needing to know the answer, the anchors have also been able to create a connect with the audience.
- At the same time, the engine powering all the games is so flexible that it enables us to pivot to different game formats thus providing users with new game options on a regular basis.
- Our deep understanding of consumer behaviour helps us create a deeper engagement with audience better than all our competitors. This user understanding also allows us to innovate well in terms of new formats. PollBaazi is a case in point.
- We have a finger on the pulse of the consumer and that is what we believe is our biggest competitive advantage.