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Indian firm lays plans to start buying up Western mobile studios

Mumbai-based entertainment firm Reliance Entertainment plans to pay $2-$5 million a pop next year for studios with headcounts of roughly 5-12 people in a bid to expand its mobile games business.
Starting next year, European and North American mobile game studios can expect to hear from a new corporate suitor: the Mumbai-based entertainment firm Reliance Entertainment. According to a Reuters report, the Indian company -- a subsidiary of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group conglomerate -- expects to pay $2-$5 million a pop for up-and-coming studios with headcounts of roughly 5-12 people in a bid to expand its mobile games business. "We will go full steam in the January and February time frame in terms of identifying studios," Reliance Entertainment CEO Manish Agarwal told Reuters. "Gaming is going to be the largest share of the pie of entertainment time spent, and Reliance would like to be a sizeable player in that space." Though it chiefly focuses on film and television production, Reliance Entertainment already has its own mobile game publishing and development division: Reliance Games. The division has so far been chiefly responsible for developing licensed titles like Pacific Rim: The Mobile Game and Real Steel Robot World Boxing (pictured) in conjunction with DreamWorks Pictures, which Reliance Entertainment owns a significant stake in. Reliance Entertainment also made a significant investment in F1 2014 developer Codemasters back in 2010 that saw the Indian firm taking a 50 percent stake in the British game company. However, the company now believes mobile games are about to take off in India -- and it wants to be at the forefront of that wave. "India is the fastest growing market in terms of Android and gaming is going to compete with TV watch[ing]," Agarwal told Reuters. "What China is today, India will be in the next 24 to 36 months." That statement is particularly interesting light of Square Enix's decision to shutter its short-lived India office in April, foregoing its attempts to break into the Indian mobile game market.

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