Hutch expands mobile gaming market with 400 products

The products include a Rahul Dravid cricket game, and a development alliance with gaming company Mauj. Hutch corporate marketing VP Harit Nagpal was quoted in a company release saying, "Gaming is one of the fastest growing mobile applications today. We have seen this trend internationally, and we are witnessing it now in India. An average of 1,20,000 mobile games are downloaded every month by Hutch users currently. This is a phenomenal 50 fold increase from an average of 2,200 mobile game downloads in February last year. This growth is expected to increase further with increasing penetration of GPRS handsets and applications."

By 2006, Datamonitor predicts that wireless gaming will generate $17.5 billion in annual revenue worldwide. The company also projects that by 2005, 80 per cent of all mobile users in the US and Western Europe will play mobile games at least occasionally.

Elaborating on the alliance between Hutch and game development companies Nagpal added, "Hutch holds over 75 per cent of the downloadable mobile gaming market in India today. While most of the mobile games currently have been internationally developed, Indian gaming developers are working on games with Indian themes. We are working closely with leading gaming developers like Mauj - to create mobile games exclusively for Hutch users. We offer over 400 mobile games to our users currently and are adding two new games to our existing portfolio daily. We are also launching an exclusive Rahul Dravid cricket game which will be available to Hutch users only."

The other main games include Prince of Persia, Juan Pablo Montoya racing, Karpov 3D chess and Top Gun. The release adds that wireless gaming is already a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide but has been slow to take off in India until now. Hutch users can download any of the 400 mobile games using the Hutch GPRS service. Once downloaded, for Rs 50, the games reside on the Hutch handset and can be played any number of times. Premium games such as Prince of Persia are available for Rs 99 per download.

Hutch also claims to be the only cellular service to offer live video-replays of sports and entertainment events such as the ongoing India-Pakistan cricket series by using using MMS. Datamonitor further stated that mobile gaming in East Asia generated $827 million in revenues in 2001. US wireless gaming revenues were $436.4 million in 2001 (Frost & Sullivan).

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