With the Indian gaming and esports sector burgeoning, it has opened opportunities for various businesses and one of such businesses that saw the light in 2021 is Qlan which is an AI-based networking app that connects gamers and esports enthusiasts.
Identifying the challenges of the ecosystem and providing solutions for it is the key of a successful business plan and following the same route Qlan has sketched out its business plan. Qlan co-founder and CEO Sagar Nair summed up the underlying issues of the sector and shared with AnimationXpress the planned solutions for the same.
Nair shared, “We realised that there are a lot of unanswered questions that are visible barriers to the overall growth and advancement of various stakeholders in this space. We started answering these questions backed by a lot of targeted interactions within the community, months of research and analysis, surveys and lastly an extensive understanding of the platforms that already exist and gamers actively use. We realised a digital platform that offers problem-solving features and brings together every stakeholder with an intent to create and exchange value is the way to go, and that’s how Qlan was born.”
Here are the broad issues and the solutions offered by the AI-based networking app:
- Credible connections: Qlan’s AI-enabled matchmaking feature will ensure impeccable connections among gamers, it is one of the USPs of the platform
- Lack of recognition: The community is very vocal about their need for the recognition that they deserve. The platform will recognize and showcase the skills and qualifications of all the entities that are a part of it. If you’re a gamer, a content creator, a caster, a team manager or any other role that exists in the community, you will be able to show that to the world.
- Showcasing skills: Gamers can sync their in-game statistics of 10+ games across mobile, PC and Console on their Qlan profile. With each gamers true skills on display, Qlan aims to be the go-to platform for gamers to find the right match, to connect, team up or compete with, and in the future get scouted by larger orgs.
- Qlan will also empower the community with an easy to create CV within the app which can also be downloaded offline.
- Fragmented community: The idea with Qlan is to aggregate a thriving and collaborative community where each stakeholder coexists. Create purpose-driven connections and facilitate overall development.
With Qlan, the team aims to create a robust and sustainable ecosystem that enables and empowers everyone seeking entry and progress in this space. It is true that the gaming and esports industry is insanely dynamic in nature, therefore it has to offer multiple revenue streams be it tournament prize pools backed by brands or branded content and live streams or in-game brand integrations.
We have seen that the industry experts have been constantly promoting that the future of gaming and esports is mainstream. And to make it mainstream, both government and non-endemic brands are seeing the value and are actively investing in gaming and esports. Regarding this, Nair said, “In the west we see lifestyle, auto, cosmetic, consumer brands, restaurants and more leveraging the might and potential of gaming as a genre and means of brand communication. At Qlan, we intend on creating a value chain that will solidify the presence of all the various stakeholders that are a part of it; gamers, squads, creators, orgs, tournaments and skilled professionals. We need to compare our young industry to any of the established ones and build towards creating the same semblance and trust, and become investable. This will allow us to open the doors to welcome the big brands.”
The app is built on react native and will rely heavily on AI and ML to forge a deeper understanding of their users to deliver a tailored experience. The data will also allow them to roll out exactly those features and integrations that their users will want in the future.
Qlan’s public beta will launch in the fourth week of October. Although the final dates are yet to be disclosed, it is going to be a free to use app for all users and will be available on Google Playstore and the Apple App store as well. They also plan to roll out a premium subscription where users will be able to further optimise their existing offerings. Features like performance tracking, better search filters, customisations and exclusive digital goods will be some of the premium offerings.
As every game has a community page and discord too, so how is Qlan different from them? Nair replied, “That’s absolutely correct. What is also true is that these games/brands have to divert the users to different platforms depending on the touchpoint or prerogative. An IG or YT for content, a Discord for communication or tournaments, their website for other products and services. So Qlan can and will address all these different touch points within one ecosystem. That is what makes Qlan different.”
Qlan will become the user profiles which will not only be based on names and the pictures but also it will be linked to the player’s gaming profiles. Gamers will be able to sync their in-game profiles and stats onto their Qlan profile using their unique username and ID’s.
Also, with their existing inroads in the community, they’re reaching out to the known and recognised esports athletes and organisations to extend them early access and verification to Qlan. This is being done to ensure that they’re getting all-important usernames and handles and also to ensure that there are no fakes.
“Qlan works on multiple levels to address grassroots level issues. Gamers and aspiring esports athletes are able to connect with other gamers. Connected gamers can then build a Squad profile on Qlan that can in time start competing in tournaments that will be aggregated on the platform itself.
Gaming orgs will have an active avenue to scout potential gaming talent be it solo gamers or entire squads. A business engaged in the industry can find professionally skilled talent on Qlan, like designers, casters, developers, coaches, analysts, team managers and more. Tournament orgs will have access to data-backed targeting and promotion on Qlan where they can target platform, game, region, language proficiency and much more.
Content creators are also one of the avenues Qlan will focus on. Having a genre-specific, gaming only community, will ensure that the content being put out reaches a targeted audience who wilfully wants to consume that very content.
The future in terms of features will be a combined effort of our vision and what our community wants,” expounded he.
The platform plans on launching their dedicated Jobs feature in their future updates. Jobs on Qlan will be a two-step process for job providers to put their requirements and job seekers to apply to those with just a single click.
“Qlan envisions becoming the most trusted and secured platform for the gaming and esports community in the coming days. This will only be achieved by meeting our immediate milestones, starting with a well-executed launch and finding the product-market fit. What will follow is the launch of the features we’ve planned on for the updates and testing out our initial revenue plans; subscriptions and in-app purchases,” Nair shared regarding Qlan’s one year business plan.
We wish the Qlan team all the best with this new venture.