Kwalee, a United Kingdom-based game developer and publisher, plans to invest thirty million US dollars in its India operations over the next five years. The Leamington Spa- headquartered firm chose Bengaluru, Karnataka, as its first studio in May 2020. They chose the team on a remote basis due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The game developer currently employs fifty people, including game developers, graphic designers, and programmers. With the Bangalore studio now established in one of the city’s vibrant technology parks, Kwalee is planning a significant expansion with around eighty current vacancies in India. These vacancies stretch across all disciplines and twenty-five new vacancies in the United Kingdom.
By downloads, India has already surpassed the United States of America as Kwalee’s largest market with about five million active players across its games. The rising popularity of video gaming in India is attracting more foreign investment. India is among the world’s top five gaming markets on the mobile platform, accounting for thirteen percent of the global game sessions in addition to online gaming sites like the Mr. Play casino that provide entertaining games, from the largest number of slot machines to the biggest jackpots in history.
According to Deloitte, India is projected to add forty million gamers between 2020 and 2022, and the online gaming market is projected to reach $2.8 billion by 2022. Team members in India have already contributed to the development of games such as Blade Forge 3D (which has over twenty million downloads), Teacher Simulator (which has over twenty-five million downloads), and Let’s Be Cops 3D (with over twenty-one million downloads). Members of the Bengaluru team also worked on upgrading classic games like Draw It, which has over ninety million downloads.
David Darling, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kwalee and a gaming industry veteran, believes that India will be at the forefront of the growing video gaming industry in the world. Darling states that India has become their largest market in download, followed by the United States, United Kingdom, and China. Their goal is to grow the India studio by hiring the right kind of talent. They are looking to recruit people across skill sets, including programmers, full-stack developers, data scientists, 3D artists, creative video editors, and direct performance marketing executives who will look at advertising for gaming titles.
The vision from the start was for the teams in the United Kingdom and India to collaborate as though they were one studio, and even though the pandemic, the difficult circumstances did not hinder them from producing great games with the contribution from their colleagues in Bangalore.
According to Darling, Kwalee focuses more on hyper-casual games as they don’t require skills or instructions making it easier to play while communicating or taking breaks. They are easy to play as they have a simple user interface. A major amount of Kwalee’s current revenue comes from in-app advertising from these games.
The Prime Minister of Kwalee, Boris Johnson, added that Kwalee is expanding into India to make the most of the opportunities for the United Kingdom businesses in one of the world’s biggest economies.