We interviewed Zapak Digital Entertainment's CEO, Rohit Sharma, about his company's recent acquisition of Codemasters, the future of Zapak, what games they plan to release, and lots more. Below are the excerpts of the interview.
What does this acquisition mean for Zapak and its future?
Zapak is the largest gaming company in the country, and has been focusing more on the online and mobile space. We have a casual gaming portal, we have gaming cafes, we have Jump Games. Whereas if you look at the Western markets, by and the large, the console market is the bigger space. So this [acquisition] helps us get a global footprint, in partnership with one of the largest gaming companies, which has development and distribution capabilities all across the world.
Why Codemasters specifically?
We have been looking at partnering with a lot of companies in the past, and Codemasters stood out for a few reasons. One is that they have very strong capabilities in cricket games, which is something we can take online and to the mobile space, globally. They also have a very strong IP in racing, as well as the Formula 1 franchise, which is a great franchise to have. They are strong company, with revenues of $150 million, and are growing well. They also have the right DMA [Designated Market Area] and a good development team. All these factors helped us take the call.
So, are there lots of cricket games in the pipeline? Anything IPL related?
As for IPL-related games, I cannot comment, but yes, definitely lots of cricket games.
Does Zapak now have any plans to make console games as well?
Sooner or later, we will use Codemasters’ development skills to bring online games to India, creating a lot of browser based games and so on. Codemasters will continue to make console games for the European and American markets, and if we get the right IP and the right idea, we will also make them for the Indian market. Right now we will use their skills and IPs for the Indian market in whatever form they are.
Any plans to create an Indian MMOG [Massively Multiplayer Online Game] with Codemaster?
Yes, why not? They have a very strong online team, and we have been wanting to create intellectual property in the MMOG field, because we think that is where the value will be these days.
How about an Indian-themed racing game? Is that also in the pipeline?
I think all the avenues are open for us now, and Codemasters have very good game engines, they have proprietary technology, they have the some of the best racing games. So, what I am saying is that it is all open, and as and when an opportunity comes, we will take it up.
Is this acquisition a two-way street in terms of technology? Will Codemasters also benefit from Zapak’s expertise?
Yes, it is. Codemasters have a strong IP which they have not leveraged in the mobile space, and with our company called Jump Games, we are very strong in that area. So we can use their IP to develop and distribute mobile games globally. And again with our core understanding of the online business, I think there is tremendous opportunity to work together in creating online games. [End]