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Mobile game publisher Nazara acquires majority stake in Nextwave


Mobile gaming publisher Nazara Technologies has acquired a majority stake in Chennai-based Nextwave Multimedia, a firm popular for its mobile cricket games, for an undisclosed amount.

PR Rajendran-led Nextwave owns the intellectual property rights for popular mobile game World Cricket Championship (WCC). As of November 2017, the WCC franchise has approximately 15 million monthly active users.

Its next version WCC2 made it to Google Play’s Editor’s Choice in 2017. The gaming platform also made it to the best games and apps for the year listing on Google Play, consecutively for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

With the acquisition, Nazara sees the popularity of WCC franchise as an ideal platform for ushering in virtual reality arcades and launching m-sports around cricket in India.

The Mumbai-based gaming firm is also planning to launch Rs 1,000-crore IPO by the end of this financial year. It has roped in ICICI Securities and Edelweiss Financial Services for the IPO launch, which could be the first public listing company in the gaming space.

Founded in 2000, Nazara Technologies uses an artificial intelligence-based system, where the end player can experience playing like the Indian cricketer. The mobile gaming publisher is operational in more than 74 countries including India, Dubai, Singapore, and Mauritius.

The company had partnered with the studio in 2016 to launch a 4D cricket game-Virat Super Cricket and Epic Cricket, featuring Indian cricket run machine Virat Kohli.

In December last year, it raised $51 million alone from IIFL. In the same month, Veteran investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala invested $27 million in Nazara Technologies. He has also acquired a minority stake in the company.

The company is now looking to change its focus from casual mobile gaming to other platforms and become a broader ecosystem player in the space.

In November, Nazara Games along with Kae Capital invested in Bengaluru-based HalaPlay, a daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform. Kae and Nazara will pick up a 32 per cent stake in the gaming company.

Besides HalaPlay, Nazara Games invested an undisclosed amount in game development studio Moong Labs, a developer of 3D cricket simulation games in August.

The report was first published in BusinessLine.

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