Mumbai-based Nazara Games has acquired a majority stake in Chennai's NextWave Multimedia. Known for its popular World Cricket Championship series, NextWave's acquisition comes after Nazara's investments in Moong Labs, MasterMind Sports, and others.
With an IPO in the pipeline, it appears that Nazara is intent on bolstering its value. App market data and insights company AppAnnie pegs World Cricket Championship 2 among the top 10 games in India in terms of time spent playing the game and number of monthly active users alongside the top global titles.
“Nazara has been on the lookout for gaming companies which have established strong leadership in the sports genre. NextWave offers a strong promise of dominating the space globally with its massive large fan base of over approx. 15 million monthly active users and very strong product offering," claims Nazara Games CEO Manish Agarwal.
“Nazara's expertise in creating scalable and profitable business models around consumer transactions globally will give us the needed impetus to grow along with them," says Mr. P.R Rajendran, CEO, NextWave.
Last year, Nazara rebuked any notion of chasing after the elusive 'midcore' mobile gaming audience - one which forms the cornerstone of studios such as Supercell and Blizzard with the likes of Clash Royale and Hearthstone as well as NextWave with its World Cricket Championship games.
“Given that the midcore user on mobile who plays Clash Royale and stuff, I don't see the market really ready for an India-based and India-made game," Agarwal said at the time. "Or if you have to do that than the cost would be very high and the returns may not be commensurate.”
Interestingly, Gadgets 360 has been given to understand that NextWave will operate independently from Nazara and will continue to publish its own games under its own label rather than its new owner's. While VR and mobile e-sports are also a part of the long-term plan, how these initiatives pan out and what shape they will take, are yet to be divulged.