KRAFTON and its Efforts to Set its Foot in India

KRAFTON, the South Korean game developer behind BGMI (previously PUBG Mobile), has been working diligently to set its foot in the Indian gaming market.

KRAFTON has been working hard to set its foot in the Indian gaming market | © KRAFTON

KRAFTON has had a long journey in India, beginning with PUBG Mobile’s release in March 2018 and then the game being banned in September 2020 due to security reasons. Then came Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) in July 2021, only to face another ban in July 2022, which fortunately was lifted in May 2023.

Overall, the company had a long journey from PUBG’s initial release and ban, to BGMI emerging as a localized alternative for Indian players. And throughout the process, KRAFTON has shown strong interest in setting up its business in the Indian gaming market. KRAFTON has been working towards localizing its offerings to attract more players and deepen its footprint in the country's gaming ecosystem, apart from BGMI.

KRAFTON India Gaming Incubator’s First Cohort: A Major Step

Beginning with KRAFTON’s most recent endeavor, the company has initiated the first cohort under its KRAFTON India Gaming Incubator (KIGI), which was announced back in October 2023, to incubate game development start-ups in the country.

So far, two startups have been selected by KIGI: Nagaland's ReDimmension Games and Bengaluru's Shura Games, with KRAFTON keeping an eye on expanding its business and reviewing additional applications for a larger second cohort.

These devs will receive $50,000 to $150,000 in financial aid, have access to KRAFTON's internal resources, and will receive specialized mentoring from industry professionals. Moreover, the company promised in August to invest $150 million in Indian gaming and interactive entertainment firms for the next 2-3 years. With this, the company's overall investment in the Indian market now stands at approximately $290 million, positioning it as one of the most active strategic investors.

Introduction of New Indian Faction and Launch of New India-Themed Games

Apart from KIGI, last year, the company introduced an Indian faction in 'Road To Valor: Empires,' KRAFTON's mobile strategy game, including characters inspired by folklore from ancient Indian history. This new addition brought with it a cast of Guardians and Units such as Ageera, Amaira, Zorawar, and Maharathi. Other units like Chekavar, Shahenshah, Sipahi, Chakram Thrower, Talwarbaaz, and more were also part of the new additions.

Road To Valor: Empires
KRAFTON introduced an Indian faction in 'Road To Valor: Empires' | © KRAFTON

Not only this but recently, on February 27, KRAFTON announced the launch of its first India-themed game, Garuda Saga. It is a role-playing game (RPG) that is only accessible to Indian players and can be downloaded for free on both Android and iOS platforms.

Continuous Updates and Cosmetics in BGMI

Well, with all the other endeavors and projects, KRAFTON isn't overlooking its most important asset, BGMI.

The much-awaited 3.1 update of BGMI has now been released. Several original maps made by developers were added in this version, including Dinosaurs and Motorcycles, The Ninja Race, and The Fun Run. The eagerly awaited World of Wonder or WoW game mode was also revealed along with a brand-new Skyhigh Spectacle-themed mode that drew inspiration from One Thousand and One Nights.

Also, in their official patch notes, KRAFTON announced its collaboration with Bentley Motors, bringing multiple Bentley cars to the game. That is not all though, this update has also generated excitement due to its collaboration with the Mumbai Indians, an IPL franchise team. This collaboration allows the players to have exclusive franchise-themed cosmetics, giving the gaming experience a unique taste.

Back in December 2023 too, KRAFTON released Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh as a playable character in BGMI, and all this keeps players engaged and excited about the game.

Overall, India is the fastest-growing video game market in Asia, both in terms of player base and revenue, and it is expected that revenue from PC and mobile games will reach $1.58 billion by 2027. Hence, all these steps taken by KRAFTON, be it its strategic investments or the localized approach, position it well to capitalize on the country's booming gaming market and foster long-term growth and success.

Tripty Pandey
Tripty Pandey