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December 10, 2013

Nextwave Multimedia: Games that defy the norm

Nextwave Multimedia has one of the top two cricket games available for the mobile platform today, and in the past three months the Windows Phone version of the game has surpassed two million downloads. But this success did not happen overnight.

The company, based in Chennai, India, has been building World Cricket Championship for the past two and half years, using a very deliberate, iterative process that makes the most of user feedback to add enhancements to the game. The game was first developed for Android, and then adapted for use on Windows Phone 8 this year.

Watch this new video from Nokia Developer to learn more about how Nextwave has made their mark in mobile:


Capitalizing on the cricket craze


“We came in to a very crowded space with some very big players, and we managed to get to the top two [cricket] games because we had a very long-term strategy,” said P.R. Rajendran, Co-Founder and CEO of Nextwave Multimedia.

“We started off doing the cricket games because we come from a country where cricket is like a religion, and so we’re very familiar with all facets of the game, and we also started off with cricket because we were pretty confident we could do it well,” said Rajendran.

The team at Nextwave comes from a creative background – with animators and people in video production (Rajendran is originally a copywriter), and they focus on developing casual games as well as productivity tools you can build with gaming technology. Their entry into the gaming space came from first developing content for big, global brands.

They develop games for multiple platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and also for the Nokia Asha platform. Rajendran sees Windows Phone as a fast emerging platform, and he knows that his company is going to receive plenty of support from Nokia and Microsoft along the way. Additionally, he notes that Nextwave is seeing “tremendous traction” for their apps out of India.

Building differentiators into their games


In the case of their cricket game, Nextwave has added a number of features to make it much more than just a basic sports game. There is artificial intelligence built in to determine how both batsman and bowler will behave during certain circumstances; and now there are a variety of funny power-ups to make gameplay even more interesting. So, if you play the game and build up your points, you can get a power up where you can “freeze” the batsman on ice, or perhaps turn the fielders into zombies.

Additionally, they have added numerous in-game events, such as daily tournaments, to keep players coming back for more. Rajendran notes that 600,000 people play the cricket game every month across all platforms, and that they play for an average of 23 minutes at a time. That is a dedicated following.

The feedback that the team at Nextwave receives drives them to keep going. “You put your content out there and within weeks people are responding to you. That’s a big high in this profession,” said Rajendran.

Riding into the future


To date, Nextwave has reached over 8 million downloads on the Series 40 platform. Their award-winning app “Comics Head” was recently preloaded on the Nokia Asha 501, and they are finishing a version of it for Windows 8 that will run on the Nokia Lumia 2520.

“We are very excited about building content for multiple platforms, including mobile, tablet, virtual reality, goggles and stuff like that,” said Rajendran. “There are a lot of new sensors coming on the horizon. Not only can you build exciting games, you can also build a lot of productivity tools and apps out of these, so I feel very excited about going forward.”