Online Gaming Makes India Debut

To cash in on the country’s nascent but growing market for online games, Bharti Airtel Limited, India’s largest private broadband and telephone service provider, has partnered with Indiagames Limited to launch a games-on-demand service on its broadband network. (Indiagames is backed by Cisco Systems and Adobe Systems’ Macromedia.)

The service is going to cost roughly $5-a-month and offers unlimited access to single player and multiplayer games and includes games like Age of Empires, Star Fury, Driv3R and Flight Simulator.

“With over 85% of games in India being sold illegally, we believe that with our unparalleled price offering we will significantly expand the segment of legitimate sales and bring the experience of high quality online gaming to millions of gamers in India,” said Vishal Gondal, founder and director of Indiagames.

At 1.5 million users, India’s broadband market is small and growing at a sluggish pace. Gondal said the gaming service would spur broadband usage in India’s urban and semi-urban areas. Well, it did wonders in South Korea, Japan and China. Maybe this is the little nudge India needs.