Q&A with Reliance Infocomm’s Krishna Durbha

“Since animation is possible with Java and BREW it has a much more addressable handset base than video”

What is the size of the VAS market for Mobile in India and how much scope and potential does it hold for animation and gaming content creators? There is approximately Rs. 350 crore VAS market in India of which at least 15 to 20% uses good amount of Graphics and Animation. If you take into account interface design and templates than the usage of art assets is even higher. In terms of addressability how many Reliance Infocomm users can access hi end applications? We have about 9 million R World data enabled handsets. A Fairly significant number of these users are coming month after month for Data services. At Reliance Infocomm, we have had VAS enabled handsets from the first phone onwards. And as such the R-World portal has a lot of relevance for the graphics, animation and gaming ecosystem due to content and applications that can be developed for it. The portal is currently a walled garden and we are managing the content. Which platform are you working with J2ME or BREW? All the earlier phones were Java enabled. We have taken on BREW in a big way now. Both platforms have their own strengths and we work with both. How many applications do you have on R World? Starting from simple ring tone downloads to complex airline reservations over the mobile we have got a total of 140 applications on R World. Gaming is one such application; within that category we have around 60 to 70 games on our deck. How does animation compare with Live action Video clips on the mobile? Both have their own demand but with Animation, one thing in its favor is that it can play easily over a handset. Since animation is possible with Java and Brew it has a much more addressable handset base than video. Yet another thing is that since it is based on line drawings it can play much better even on monochrome displays. Within animated content on the mobile, what’s doing well? Musical animation, seasonal themed animated clips do very well. Mobile comics are doing very well too. We have comics like Chacha Chaudhary, Pinky, Babloo, ShaktiMaan, Archies, Garfield and Hum Tum. However there is a learning curve that animation and graphics studios need to go through before they can come up with good content for the mobile. Things that look good on the PC need not necessarily look good on the mobile. A big opportunity is in Hindi and multilingual animated clips and content on the mobile phone. We have already launched Hindi mobile games with Indore based Astute System Tech. Which games are doing good numbers on your network? Bollywood and Cricket lead the pack, in fact we have too many cricket games. Downloading activity is particularly high on weekends. Usually the lifetime of a game is around 30/60 days and we keep refreshing our decks regularly. Which Game Developers are you working with in India? Some of the prominent ones are Indiagames, Paradox, Astute System Tech, ,Tinfomobile, ZMQ, Nazara, Mauj, Jamdat and Gameloft. What’s your message to content creators reading Animation ‘xpress out there? It’s all about the creativity. Get us creative content that catches on with the masses. We really need people who come up with original characters, otherwise Bollywood will keep ruling. We have a business team, and there are standard revenue shares. Come with a great game, completely ported, tested and QA compliant. We also have a website www.dadp.com which has all information for applications developers and a 24/7 support team. connect@animationxpress.com
Games