There has been some good news and a legal setback in the past couple of days for Indian operator Vodafone Idea. It has announced a foray into the lucrative gaming market but lost a court case relating to interim relief on a financial penalty.
The foray into the gaming industry will take place in partnership with diversified gaming company Nazara Technologies.
Through this association, Vodafone Idea says its customers will get access to a wide range of gaming content including popular game titles from various franchises in India on its gaming platform Vi Games.
Vi Games on the Vi App offers a gaming experience with over 1,200 Android and HTML5-based mobile games across 10 genres including action, adventure, arcade, casual, education, fun, puzzle, racing, sports and strategy.
Gaming is estimated to reach as many as 500 million users within India. The games will be available via three price schemes, one of which will be free.
Given the penetration of smartphones and 4G availability it’s possibly little surprise that Vodafone Idea sees gaming as a major focus area of its digital content strategy and intends to build a comprehensive play encompassing most facets of gaming.
The Vi Games proposition will initially have casual gaming content and gradually be developed to host social gaming and even eSports.
On a less positive note the Indian Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has denied any immediate interim relief to Vodafone Idea in a decision related to a penalty imposed by the Department of Telecom (DoT) for selling pre-activated SIM cards.
The DoT imposed a penalty of Rs 1.9 crore (just over $248,500) on VIL and will seize a bank guarantee if the company fails to make the payment this week. VIL has, however, been told that the money could be refunded, presumably if an appeal against the penalty succeeds.