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Asha 501 launch in New Delhi

At the launch of the Nokia Asha 501 in New Delhi, Conversations had the opportunity to speak with several local and international developers about their initial impressions of the device.

Of course, as well as showcasing the Asha 501, there was also the important announcement about the new Nokia Asha platform and its range of tools that will help developers to monetise their apps.

Gaming giant Gameloft is a key partner and we spoke to Sarabjeet Singh, Gameloft’s Country Manager for India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. 

How excited are you about the Nokia Asha 501?

Gameloft has been a Nokia partner for more than 10 years and we support Series 40, Asha devices and the Windows Phone platform. We’re proud to mention that we have had  200 millions games downloaded on the Nokia Store since its launch.

The Asha 501 has got some great features. Of course, our games are there and we’re very excited to be a part of this.

How important could a sub-$100 smartphone, such as the Asha 501, be?

Nokia Asha 501

It’s very important because Gameloft has games on all platforms. We do Java and we do smartphones. However, what we have seen, particularly in the emerging markets of south east Asia is that the trend is shifting from feature phones to smartphones.

That’s where we are concentrating our efforts as well, and I’d say that the Nokia Asha 501 could be a real pioneer and revolution for smartphones.

The Asha 501 is not just an entry-level smartphone, but it’s one that’s equipped with a lot of high level features. Yet it’s available at an extremely competitive price. It’s a huge untapped market. 

Have you had the chance to use the Asha 501 yet? What has impressed you the most? 

I like the swipe features of Fastlane and the multi-tasking. What I really like though is the battery life. Up to 48 days in standby is unheard of.

The reason why we are really excited from a Gameloft perspective is because playing games can use some battery capacity, but if you have a good battery then you’ll have the confidence to play longer.

There was also the announcement of the Nokia Asha platform. Presumably, Gameloft are extremely excited to get your games on there?

Absolutely. Several of our games will be available pre-loaded on the Asha 501. There’s Assassin’s Creed III, which is the new adaptation of the famous franchise title and one of our flagship titles; Asphalt 6, the racing reference on mobile game; Little Big City is an addictive tycoon game, so it’s free to play but you can buy items within the game; Real Football, which is another of the really popular franchises that we have; and we have Fashion Icon, which is aimed at girls.

In addition, we’ll have more than 30 games that will be made available for download in the Nokia Store.

The great thing about Gameloft Games, especially for the Indian market, is that they are available in the ‘try and buy’ format. You can play the demo of the game for free and if you like it, then you can buy the full version of the game. This is something that has worked very well for us. 

Nokia's Attila Csipa at the Developer Conference in New Delhi
Nokia’s Attila Csipa at the Developer Conference in New Delhi

Talking of monetisation, there were announcements today about Nokia in-app payments and Nokia Advertising Exchange (NAX) on the new Asha platform.

As we said during the conference, the free-to-play model has proven to be one of the key trends in the gaming industry, and especially on smart feature phones like Asha Full Touch, and now the Asha 501.

The Nokia In-App Payment solution is thus going in the right “freemium” direction while the NAX initiative represents another attractive way for app monetisation.

What Gameloft titles are coming soon to the Nokia Store that people can look forward to?

Iron Man 3 and Fast and Furious 6 are popular movie franchises and those games will be coming shortly and there are more to come!

People can already find top performers like the Amazing Spiderman, Modern Combat 4, Littlest Pet Shop or Wonderzoo.