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Analyst: Mobile Carriers Holding Back India Mobile Game Growth

In a new Gamasutra feature published today, India-based mobile gaming experts said major carriers with high revenue share rates are "squeezing the life ou
The emerging Indian market has 120 million new mobile subscribers every year, but mobile gaming has yet to gain significant traction. In a new Gamasutra feature, some experts place much of the blame on major Indian mobile carriers. "Different carriers have different business models and I obviously don't want to name names, but let's just say a 40 to 50 percent revenue share funds creativity, but those that give 75 percent to the carrier choke the system," said Samir Bangara, COO of mobile game publisher Indiagames. Nick Lane, chief analyst of MobileSQUARED and co-author of India: Birth of a Mobile Content Superpower, 2009-2013, also blamed major Indian mobile carriers such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, and Tata for the stasis in the domestic mobile games market. "Some carriers are demanding a revenue share of up to 80 percent on content transactions, which is placing a ridiculous and unprecedented amount of pressure on the mobile games community," said Lane. "Until this changes, operators are effectively squeezing the life out of the value chain." He continued, "In the West, the [Apple] App Store has forced carriers to revise this stake in the revenue pie to around 30 percent -- giving the majority of revenues to the developer. This has to happen in India for the content market, and games in particular, to really boom, but this is unlikely to happen before 2013." To read more about the current status of the Indian mobile games market and more commentary from experts and executives in the industry, read the full Gamasutra feature, published today.

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