MUMBAI: One of the leading telecom operators in India - Vodafone - is certainly looking to up its ante in terms of giving its subscribers the best in value added services.
Vodafone India recently teamed up with Disney India's Interactive business, to launch Vodafone Games & Apps. The announcement comes soon after the launch of Vodafone Music and Vodafone Sports by the company.
“Vodafone believes that for data services to grow and get massive adoption, there needs to be a concerted effort to provide users a curated content experience for the popular categories like sports, gaming and music among others,” explains Vodafone India chief commercial officer Vivek Mathur. “Vodafone is able to bring together the best content in the mobile entertainment space and provide an offering unlike anyone else. We believe this unique offering will drive data consumption and hence the focus on the mobile content space.”
Vodafone Games & Apps powered by Disney India's Interactive business is aimed at offering the customers premium games and apps on both feature and smartphones. Through this association, Disney India will furnish the complete content catalogue along with the portal for this offering.
“Our endeavour has always been to provide engaging games to existing and new users in India through multiple digital access points and in turn cultivate an active gaming culture in the country. Our association with Vodafone is a step forward in our strategic relationship with them and creates an additional destination for exciting games and apps for their users,” says Disney India VP & head - Interactive Sameer Ganapathy.
Via the Vodafone Games & Apps portal, subscribers will gain access to well-known Disney games such as Where's My Water?, Where's My Mickey?, Where's My Perry?, Toy Story : Smash It!, Brave and Chennai Express among others. There will also be Disney Utility Apps including Mickey Planner, Donald Photo booth, Goofy Weather and more.
This is not the first such effort by a telco to distribute games as a service with subscription fee in India. Just earlier last month, Gameloft had entered into a similar deal with Idea to offer Java and Android games through its mobile website as part of Gameloft Club subscription.
Disney India (then DisneyUTV) and Electronic Arts had tied-up with Aircel to launch a new retail recharge card called ‘Aircel Pocket Internet Games’ in 2012. It was offering unlimited 2G data to those who subscribed to the plan that included over 1,500 games.
These non-HD games are smaller in size so that even people with 2G connections can download them fast and offer similar gameplay as the original app sold via Google and Apple stores.
Customers can avail Vodafone Games & Apps by visiting live.vodafone.in/games or sending a simple text message to 111. The HTML5 portal will apparently showcase the best content as per handset compatibility.
The companies say Vodafone Games & Apps has support for all major platforms, namely Android, Java, Symbian and Blackberry.
Having already forayed into music and sports (Star Sports), what encouraged Vodafone India to partner with Disney Interactive for gaming apps, Mathur expounds: “The response on music and sports services has been encouraging and we have seen healthy consumption of these services amongst our subscriber base. The gaming business is one of the largest drivers of revenue in the direct to consumer space and we believe that it has tremendous potential on our store as well. The TG is quite fluid and varied. We see all ages and genders play and download games and apps.”
Vodafone Games & Apps also offers user ratings and reviews, along with smart recommendation. The portal is also offering loyalty points, where customers receive points for every rupee spent, which can be redeemed on further apps and games.
If subscribers choose not to use credit cards to purchase the paid apps, carrier billing is available through the subscriber's Vodafone account. Vodafone Games & Apps also features a 'Try and Buy' system, that lets customers sample content for free in two tries.
Subscribers can also avail of special price plans on the Vodafone Games & Apps portal. These include the 'All you can eat value plan', and 'Premium content plan'. The former will grant access to six different game bundles, priced at Rs. 20, Rs. 25, Rs. 30, Rs. 49, Rs. 99 and Rs. 150. The 'Premium content plan' gives access to the 'latest games' at Rs. 50.
“We want to offer our customers the best gaming experience at various price points. Hence, we have various offers - Try and Buy, Free Games, Subscriptions, Full downloads and Value Packs,” reveals Mathur. “The user can sample the games on the free & try and buy model, then graduate into a value pack and then get initiated into subscriptions and full downloads as his gaming consumption and interest grows.”
A premium game will generally be made available on a discounted pack only after two weeks of its launch. The portal will have content from the leading games publishers and not be limited to the Disney library, the telco reveals.