Beverages to soft drinks, trendy wear to premier suits, land line service to cell phones India‘s most loved Bollywood stars are out there selling and endorsing everything! And now it‘s the turn of games and gaming products.
Recently XBOX 360, one of the most stellar symbols of the Gaming Era roped in Bollywood Star Akshay Kumar to endorse the brand‘s offerings. Similarly, the recently launched casual gaming site, Anil Ambani‘s Zapak.com got in the Macho Salman Khan to add thrill and appeal to its games.
So with Bollywood Masala being sprinkled in, are games becoming part of the local cuisine?
Industry experts however are of the opinion that Bollywood themed games have been going on for a few years now and that‘s not a new trend, but point out that this time around its big gaming brands and deep pocketed companies that have actually got in Stars to endorse their games and the eyebrows tweak. That‘s a point all right!
Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak.com shared his perspective “We are roping in Bollywood Celebrities and creating games around them and their personality. Salman was one of the first celebrities on board. Salman for most people represents Action and Speed which was an interesting match for the kind of games we already have. Also he agreed to be involved with the conceptualization of his games which was a very big opportunity for us.”
Microsoft India‘s Marketing head, EDD, Ashim Das Mathur, opined, “Xbox 360 is targeted at the young gamers. In India there is a vast majority of youngsters who haven‘t yet explored gaming as an entertainment option but they enjoy action movies as well as physical sports. Akshay Kumar is a popular action hero today and is reputed for his physical fitness as well as for being a Black belt in Karate. He is the perfect fit for our brand and will have a vital role to play in communicating the benefits of Xbox 360 to our desired audiences.”
“With the endorsement of games and gaming products, Bollywood stars are not only promoting the products, but also taking the gaming market from niche to main stream” he added.
2007 will be an interesting year to watch whether Gaming in India finally begins to become a part of the mainstream.