A former techie with travel search startup Ixigo.com (which sold majority stake to private equity firm SAIF Partners besides giving minority stake to MakeMyTrip last year) has started his own firm TridentShoxx Labs Pvt Ltd which has just launched its e-commerce website Gameblaze.in focused on digital games.
Founded by Chetan Kumar, an IIT-Delhi alumnus, Gameblaze offers game titles for PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS (although PS Vita titles are not available on the site as of now).
Kumar has earlier worked on mobile video streaming solutions for telecom providers like TIM-Italy, Vodafone-Spain, and 3-UK. He joined Ixigo.com in its pre-launch stage and helped build its flight search engine and the flight planner. In 2008 he started-up Metaaso Solutions with a colleague but the product had limited commercial success.
"According to Kumar, globally, this industry is worth more than $70 billion annually. "India is a little behind in comparison to the global scene, but the market has reached a tipping point," he said.
Kumar estimates the video game market in India is worth around Rs 30 crore annually and has a growth rate of 100 per cent per annum. He is betting on the fact that the current generation of kids are heavily into games and when they become adults and have actual purchasing power; it will create a huge opportunity.
Coming back to the site, it's another vertical e-com business. The company will compete with horizontal e-tailers like Flipkart, HomeShop18, Infibeam and Snapdeal, among others in India. The company has tied up with Amazon and Gamestop in the US (as e-commerce partners) to service international users and is currently working on the next version of Gameblaze, with an international launch expected in the first week of April, 2012.
Games are sorted in different categories that include; by popularity- showcases the most popular titles; similar to- showcases games that are similar to the users favourite titles; with lots of- lets users search games by their content; which has- lets users search by the gameplay options they want; and of the genre- this sorts games by genres. Users can also choose their console (PS3, Xbox etc) and then filter the games according to genre, theme, medal, ratings, age limit, popularity and release date.
What we liked about the site was that once you have selected a game, you can actually get a lot of additional info on it. Information like screenshots, wallpapers, trailers, gameplay videos, similar games and reviews from gaming critics (like IGN and Gamespot) have been provided. This is good because considering the fact that the games are not cheap (PS3 and Xbox titles can cost up to Rs 4,000 per game), the information helps in the decision making process.
The site has added a social media twist which can help it build interactivity with gamers.
Besides the regular payment options, Gameblaze has also provided an additional option of self pick-up (but only for customers in New Delhi at present). The company also provides a gifting option that allows users to send games as gifts to others. Users can write a message to be delivered along with the gift and also the gift's exact delivery date.
We compared the prices of a few game titles with that of Flipkart and found that while some of the games were cheaper on Gameblaze, others were cheaper on Flipkart (so basically the prices differ on game to game basis).